Book Review: Unleash the Writer Within

Unleash the Writer Within: The Essential Writers’ Companion

By Cecil Murphey (reviewed by Peter DeHaan)
Book Review: Unleash the Writer Within
Unleash the Writer Within is an introspective exposé of what it takes to be an effective writer. This book is not about the technical side of writing but instead the psychological aspects behind being a writer.

Penned by prolific and world-renowned author Cecil (Cec) Murphey, Unleash the Writer Within contains the personal insights of someone who truly knows the challenges of being a writer and has survived to talk about it. Cec uses personal stories to add substance to his observations, proving his words are not theory but real-world tested and readily applicable. His style is transparent and vulnerable, drawing readers in and connecting on a personal level.

Cecil begins with a forthright discussion on “Why do you write?” He doesn’t desire the safe answer or the expected response but, the real reason, the honest reason of why we write. In doing so, he exposes his inner self for the enlightenment of readers, thereby setting the tone for the rest of the book.

Along the way he addresses important topics such as our inner critic and finding our voice. He touches on dealing with writer’s block and knowing when to step out of our comfort zone, as well as the dangers of comparing ourselves to others, be they more accomplished than us or less so. He ends by saying, when you’ve done the best you can do, it’s time to let go; don’t hold on to it forever (but don’t release it too soon either).

Among the book’s back matter is a discerning list of 27 “Aphorisms for Writers,” one for each chapter of the book.

Just as the subtitle promises, Cecil Murphey’s Unleash the Writer Within is truly “the essential writers’ companion.” If you are a writer (or seek to write) this book is essential for you.

[Unleash the Writer Within: The Essential Writers’ Companion, by Cecil Murphey. Published by OakTara Publishers, 2011; ISBN 978-1-60290-307-4; 151 pages.]

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