Love Letters To Writers: Encouragement, Accountability, and Truth-Telling

Love Letters To Writers: Encouragement, Accountability, and Truth-Telling

by Andi Cumbo-Floyd


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780692960806
Publisher: Andrea Cumbo-Floyd
Publication date: 11/14/2017
Pages: 196
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.42(d)

About the Author

Andi Cumbo-Floyd is a writer, editor, and farmer who lives at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband, four dogs, four cats, three rabbits, six goats, and thirty-six chickens. She appreciates the literary community and does all she can to support it. Her main research and writing interests are the practices of writing and the history and legacy of slavery in Virginia. She writes regularly at,, and

Table of Contents

I Love Writers 1

Go Wild! 3

Writing the In-Between. 5

Publishing Books Makes Me Uncomfortable, but That’s Okay 9

The Gift of Literary Citizenship. 13

Write What You Want to Know.. 15

Write into the Unknown. 19

Leaning into What We Cannot Control 21

You Can’t Rush a Writing Life. 25

Who We Listen To. 31

What Are We Afraid Of? 35

The Teeter-Totter of Discipline and Grace. 41

A Little Bit at a Time. 45

The Embodied Writer 47

The Angsty Relationship of Writing and Sales 51

So Many Good, Important Things to Do. 55

When We Feel Guilty for Writing. 59

Writing Deep Without Over-Reaching. 63

Giving Space. 69

The Best Thing I’ve Done for My Writing Life. 75

The Waiting. 79

Listening and Letting Go. 81

Embrace the Mystery. 85

Resting on the Discipline. 89

Sometimes, Writers, We Need Help. 93

Push Through or Step Back? 97

A Writer’s Greatest Strength. 101

Some Writerly Love from Me to You. 105

Looking on Ourselves and Our Work with True Love. 107

Go Small and Go Gentle. 109

Look for the Intersections 111

Heart Song. 113

What’s a Writer to Do when Life Is Crushing? 117

The Call to Write. 119

The Call to Bravery. 123

Today Alone. 127

That Time I Stuck My Finger in a Horse’s Nose. 133

Write for the Wonder of it All 137

Moving Between Serendipity and Discipline. 143

The Rhythms, Oh the Blessed Rhythms 147

How to Build a Writing Platform with Authenticity. 151

Working the Percentages 157

“The Written Word Is Weak”. 161

The Power of Momentum.. 165

Looking for the Silver 169

Bald, Baby Heads and Tears 171

Garlic, Ritual, and My Return. 175

I Knew Every Room.. 179

Writing Because of Now.. 183

What It Feels Like to Sign a Book Contract 187

The Lessons of the Trees 189

Writers, It’s Okay to Make Money and Be Famous 191

Epilogue. 195

Other Books by Andi 197

Writing Books. 197

Other Titles 197

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Love Letters To Writers: Encouragement, Accountability, and Truth-Telling 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
KatieAndraski More than 1 year ago
Andi Cumbo-Floyd’s Love Letters to Writers could become a self-published writer’s classic in the same league as Bird by Bird because it is practical, wise and written from experience. Cumbo-Floyd has the authority to offer advice, encouragement and love to writers because she is making a living as a self published writer. Making a living. I would imagine you know how hard that is. She coaches other writers and she has self published such books as Steele Secrets, Charlotte and the Twelve, The Slaves Have Names and Discover Your Writing Self. She affirms the writer’s desire to make money, saying there is nothing wrong with this desire. I know I have been conflicted about this and recognized myself when she wrote “I don’t want a bigger audience. Here’s what she says, “So my dear beloved writers, please stop believing you need to be a staring artist. We don’t believe that Toni Morrison or Kevin Kwon shouldn’t make a living at what they do. If we don’t believe that for writers we admire and love why in the world would we believe it for ourselves.” She is right, that without money we wouldn’t be able to put our books into the world. To write those books we put into the world, Cumbo-Floyd urges writers to live each day into the practice of writing. She writes between 7:30 and 9:00 am and offers ideas on “routines and rituals that give me life.” She says simple things like “a candle lit on my desk. A new page of the Farmer’s Almanac calendar read and reminding. The standing desk Philip made me ready to go. 1,000 words there through my fingers” sustain her, help her live into the “unbearable lightness of being.” She writes about the choices we make in order to make space for our creative work. “So I share that today that sometimes we find the time to write by turning off the TV or shutting down Facebook. Sometimes we find it by saying NO to things we don’t really want or need to do. And sometimes, we find it by saying NO to things we really love and care about at least for a time.” She writes about how finding balance is an active process like sitting on an exercise ball, where we adjust ourselves constantly to stay upright. She says, “There is no magic formula, no one-size-fits-all writer’s hat, no ‘right way’ way. There’s just your way…your way for today.” Chapter titles include “Publishing Books Makes Me Uncomfortable, But That’s Okay,” “Leaning into What We Cannot Control,” “The Angsty Relationship of Writing and Sales” and “When We Feel Guilty for Writing.” These are things I wrestle with as a writer. It is comforting to read Cumbo-Floyd’s resolutions with these things. Love Letters to Writers is sure to be a classic because of how deeply encouraging and wise it is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Andi's words are kind and insightful - like a friend leading me down the path of challenges I recognize and inspiring me to move forward on my journey. She offers a lovely balance of pushing me to keep going and grace for the times I fall off the path. Most importantly, every time I read it, I feel gently nudged back into writing - which is what I want to be doing. I received an advanced copy of the book for agreeing to post a review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, I was excited to delve into it. When I was halfway through, I pre-ordered another copy, because I could already think of four people who would love it. I am so happy this book is out in the world! This has become one of my favorite writing books. The kind, gentle wisdom of her letters is the perfect antidote to the frustration that often comes with writing consistently. A unique blend of practicality and encouragement is the backbone of this book, and there's something here for writers of all levels.
Patricia Alderman More than 1 year ago
All writers have doubts from time to time. From that nagging feeling that we're not a "real" writer without a certain set of accomplishments or achievements, to the lonely sense that no one will ever read our words, so what's the point? This book is for every writer who's ever felt unsure, alone or discouraged in their writing. In other words, it's for every single writer! Andi Cumbo-Floyd shares deeply personal and honest letters to writers and she does so from a place of authenticity. She just plain gets it. What it's like to be a writer, how hard it is, and how isolating it can be. Each of these love letters to writers provides not only encouragement for when it gets hard, but practical ideas that will help raise your productivity and creative processes to the next level. I already know this will be my go-to book when I need a little nudge to take the next step in my writing life, and one I look forward to picking up again and again.
lmbartelt More than 1 year ago
Love Letters to Writers is an encouraging book to keep on hand for the days when you doubt yourself, your writing, or your path as a creator. Andi urges writers both to “keep going” and “wait,” to lean in to the changing seasons of a creative life. This grace-filled book is full of me-too moments.