Review: Dear Writer, You Need to Quit by Becca Syme

Posted January 9, 2020 by Lola in Non-Fiction, Review / 6 Comments

Review graphic

Dear Writer, You Need to QuitDear Writer, You Need to Quit (QuitBooks for Writers #1)
by Becca Syme

My Rating: 5 stars
Genre: Non-fiction/ self publishing/ self-help

If you’re here, you’ve likely read more than one book about writing process and productivity before and yet, you’re still looking for the “real truth” or the “next big thing.” If you’ve tried other programs, and nothing has worked for you, have you ever wondered why?

This book can help explain the “why.”

What this book is not: It is not a list of tips and tricks to get “more productive” or “be a better writer”. There are a thousand of those out there and you’ve read them all.

What this book is: a mindset shift book. If you want to stay in this industry, there are some things you need to quit. And I’m not going to tell you “how”, but I am going to tell you why.

My Review

This is one of the best non-fiction books I read so far. Not that I’ve read a lot of non-fiction books, but I’ve been reading more of them since this year and this one really stood out for me. One of the main reasons this one stood out to me is that something about this book really resonated with me. And I am not even a writer, the target audience for this book, but I do work in this industry as tour organized and author assistant and I am just interested in everything publishing and marketing books.

The way this author talks about writing, questioning the premise and finding your perfect alignment and what works for you, really resonated with me. I had me nodding along and re-evaluating my own behavior and suddenly realizing why some things do and don’t work. There were some really insightful parts and I really feel like I got a lot of great information out of this book and it changed the way I think about some things.

It’s like this book finally gave me the answer to all those times I’ve questioned why I can’t work like others, why I can’t work more or differently, why I am not like others and why this weird system I have works for me even though it seems like it shouldn’t or that I should do things differently. Why I feel like there’s something wrong with me at times because I work so differently than others or why at some times I struggle to work at all. Why I struggled with working earlier this year even though I have my dream job and also why my current focus on finding a better work life balance is so important. And it’s like this book finally make me realize it’s okay and I what I’ve been doing with trying to find the best way to manage my work/ life balance is what I should be doing instead of trying to be like other people. That it’s okay to be this way and to work this way and that everyone is different and different systems work for everyone. And it’s like this should be something I know, but reading this book really made those truths sink in.

It’s also so very accepting. And so understanding and even encouraging of how each individual is different. The writing style and tone really worked for me, yes there are hard truths, some really though truths. And it really hits it home how hard it is to make a living writing. It doesn’t pull any punches or make promises that you can make it or that there is an easy way. The author says time and time again that it’s going to be hard, but at the same time it’s very encouraging as well. I also felt that it was very real and honest and accepting. Just know the facts and the market before you start so you go in with your eyes open. And figure out what works best for you.

The author really emphasizes you have to work hard and try to figure out what works for you. I liked that message and the focus on figuring out what works for you. That you can listen to advice, but also evaluate whether it’s something that works for you. And how every person is different. I think this is so true and also why not every advice or tip or system works for everyone.

Even when you’re not a writer I think this book can be valuable, especially when you work for yourself or if you struggle with anything in your daily life. So many of the tips and information in this book is applicable to so many areas of life. At times it even felt like it wasn’t just about writing. All the examples are about authors ofcourse, but it’s easy to see how these truths and information pieces can be applicable in other areas of your life as well. Speaking of the examples, I thought most of those were very informative and illustrated her points well.

I actually finished this book in a few days, which rarely happens with non-fiction books as I usually fit them in during small breaks and take a long time to get through them, which is fine and I like reading them that way usually. But something about this book just pulled me in so much that I actually wanted to keep reading it and kept finding more moments to read it. As I wanted to know more, as I wanted to have more of the insightful information in this book and because the writing pulled me in. Because this book resonated with me in a way and really meshed with some of my own ideas. It was so insightful to read and I wanted more of those insights.

The main premises and themes of this book felt very solid and important to me. Having to question the premise and finding out what to quit, what to keep and what to question. Each chapter is titled after something to quit and while that tone might seem negative, it didn’t feel that way at all. Because with how much the focus is on quitting things, the other side of that is keeping the things that do work and focusing on those.

It is clear the author is a coach and that shined through in the book I thought it made for a very interesting point of view. She’s an author as well, but I think her being a coach gave her another point of view or approach than I see in most non-fiction books for writers. I thought it worked well. I think it really shows how much she knows about this topic and how many people she has coached and how that helped her see patterns.

To summarize: This is probably one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read this year. Something about this book really resonated with me and there were so many insightful moments. While it’s focused on writers, I think it can be insightful for other people as well. I really enjoyed reading this book and finished it in only a few days as something kept me pulling me back to this book. It really gave me some new perspective and made me evaluate my own behavior. And it felt nice how the author focused on individual differences and finding out what works for you, it felt very validating for me as I often feel like I do things differently/ wrong and this book made me feel better about that as this is what works for me. While the book has some hard truths about how difficult this type of work is, I thought it was very accepting and encouraging. She doesn’t pull punches and it felt very real and honest, but definitely accepting as well. There are some great bits of information in this book and things that made me think and even with all that going on it was still an enjoyable read as well. The author of this book is a coach and I think that gave her a unique point of view and different approach than I see in most books and I thought it really worked here. I would definitely recommend this to authors, writers or other people that work in this industry or that work for themselves or do any type of creative job as I think the information in this book is applicable to a lot of people and a lot of areas in life.

5 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads, Bookbub and Amazon.

What’s the best non-fiction book you read in 2019?

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6 responses to “Review: Dear Writer, You Need to Quit by Becca Syme

    • I hope you give it a try! I think it has a lot of great advice for authors, writers and anyone else actually. I like her way of thinking and describing things and the focus on individual differences and that what might work for one person won’t always work for others too.

    • Exactly, but so often you hear people give advice like it should work for everyone, so it was refreshing to have this book acknowledge that we’re different and different things work for different type of people.

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