Cover Image: Write It All Down

Write It All Down

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Member Reviews

I have often wondered how to write my own story. This book explained the concepts very clearly and easily understood.

The exercises throughout were fun and engaging offering an insight into how to tap into those memories and offer an engaging narration.
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This is a brilliant book for any aspiring writer, not just for those interested in memoir. Written in a casual yet informative style it was easy to digest and the activities are excellent and thought provoking. One I will return to many times I am sure.
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I am not a writer but someone who journals and I am keen to explore my own history through memoir, so Write It All Down really appealed to me. I also love Cathy's work and adore her empathic and down to earth writing style. On reading this memoir writing guide I felt that I was in the presence of a kind and compassionate friend who was gently encouraging and challenging me. Cathy helps us to discover why we want to write and the obstacles that may be getting in our way. Although this is a guide to memoir writing, for me it also served as a guide to fulfilling my life purpose and what may get in the way of that. As a semi regular journaler Cathy's tips and encouragement helped me to get back into the habit of writing morning pages and the benefits of doing this. At the end of the book there are useful book recommendations to help the reader on their writing journey. A beautiful book that I'd recommend to anyone - not just writers !
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this digital ARC.
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A really fantastic resource for writers - Cathy writes with lots of clarity and it's an enjoyable read!
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I think describing "Write It All Down" as "perfect for both seasoned writers as well as writing amateurs and everyone in between" is an overstatement. Reading this book felt like attending an intro level writing class designed for teenagers and young adults, rather that people who already wrote a thing or two in their lives.

I hoped for more writing prompts, not a collection of generic advice that you can find plenty of all over the internet.
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I love Cathy's work, and having read a few of her other books, and met her a handful at times during work at the Cheltenham Literature festival, I was excited to read this. I'm not a writer, nor do I regularly make myself write anything, but I'm interested in the how to of writing - how do all our authors (as booksellers!) create their masterpieces, and how do they not get distracted by every incoming email?! Cathy writes a succinct and clear guide of how to's and how to get your best out of yourself.
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After reading and enjoying 'Dear Reader' last year, I was extremely eager to try another book written by Cathy Rentzenbrink. As someone who journals daily and enjoys writing, I was intrigued to explore a 'real' author's experiences with writing. This book offered interesting perspectives from someone who has experience of not just writing but working within the industry and learning how to produce content that will sell to audiences. However, I liked the alternate perspective that Rentzenbrink offers, encouraging readers to write for themselves and not for validation from other. Written eloquently and beautifully, this book is full of encouraging insights and offers aspiring writers masses of wisdom and inspiration. Write It All Down will encourage anyone who reads it to pick up a pen and write something.
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Having read and enjoyed her book about the joy of reading, I was intrigued about this book and to see how it compares to other writing guides. I was not disappointed, this is an encouraging book for those wishing to write but particularly if you wish to write memoir or autobiography. She recognises that writing one's own story is different from writing fiction and whilst there are some general writing prompts to get you started this book is really there to encourage you to write about your life. I really liked that there was much relatable text about her own struggles, especially how beliefs can stifle creativity. I enjoyed the feeling of learning from someone else's mistakes. Inspiring!

With thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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As an author, I have read a lot of books about writing over the years, from the beginner books that tell you how to set out your work and submit to publishers, to the ones that promise you will have a novel in less than a few months, with an agent and publisher not far behind.  

I have found some writing books to be condescending, with the author assuming that all their readers are completely unpublished, and others to be wildly optimistic about one's chances of getting a full-length manuscript picked up. Some books promise best-seller lists and awards, while others sap away the reader's enthusiasm from the start with statistics on the slim odds of getting a publishing deal.  

When I heard that Cathy Rentzenbrink was going to release a book about writing, I was thrilled, largely because of how much I had enjoyed her previous book Dear Reader, which I read as part of my MA in Creative Writing.  Cathy was one of our guest lecturers, giving one of the most useful classes of the whole course.  I found her to be warm, friendly and extremely funny.  I liked her immensely.  She is very down to earth and this comes across in both her writing and teaching style.  As I sat in her class last year, I found myself wishing that she was a permanent member of our faculty staff, because her lecture was so fun and informative.

Luckily, she has now shared her teaching tips, tricks and professional know-how in her new book Write It All Down.  Like Dear Reader, I read this book in one sitting. Although it is centered around writing memoirs, the information Cathy shares is useful for all forms of writing. The book is structured in four parts, which collectively guide you from the very early stages of discovering your theme, to the final act of polishing the last edit. The book features writing prompts throughout.

For me, reading this book was like stepping back to my time as an MA student and taking part in her class again.  I recognized some of the tools in the book from her lecture and it was lovely to revisit them in a more relaxed manner, without the pressure of assignments hanging over me.  I could simply enjoy the teachings and the memory of that class. 

In a way, Write It All Down is like a special souvenir of my MA days, now that my graduation has taken place and I am back in the world of writing books again myself.  I can revisit that class whenever I want to, just by picking up this book.  It also means that you too can enjoy a taste of what I experienced on the MA as well, without the pressure or expense of going to university - you can read Cathy's book to benefit from the same level of teaching.  

It's a book that will challenge you to explore your motivations for writing, while encouraging you to write authentically and trust your own voice. It will make you laugh out loud and tap into your courage as you find your place upon the page. It will gently persuade you to show yourself, warts and all.  As if all that wasn't enough, the book ends with a tour of Cathy's writerly bookshelf and tons of top tips from dozens of other well known authors. 

Write It All Down is a book that should be on every writer's bookshelf, and whether you write for yourself or for publishers, it is a fantastic primer and a source of valuable inspiration for writers of all levels.  It has earned a permanent place in my study and now sits snuggly alongside Dear Reader.
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“…it can be inspiring to remember that many things that became raging successes came out of left field. There is no reason why the next big thing should not be you! Don’t not write something because it doesn’t already exist. You might make it exist.”

Why do we want to write and what stops us? How do we fight the worry that no-one will care what we have to say? What can we do to overcome the obstacles in our way? Sunday Times bestselling author Cathy Rentzenbrink shows you how to tackle all this and more in Write It All Down, a guide to putting your life on the page.

As a writer, the biggest investment one needs to make is time. A seed of an idea may germinate in your head. But the path to actually getting your thoughts down on paper is ridden with potholes holding you back.

Cathy Rentzenbrink breaks down each of those reasons. Her approach is simply to write. From a paragraph to a page to a chapter to a book. It doesn’t matter whether you type or write longhand. The key is to write because the more you write, the more you learn from it and can identify what works for you.

I’ve read my fair share of books on writing and there’s always something new to learn from each one of them. What stood apart for me while reading this book was the feeling as if the author was handholding me through a dark and creepy forest, urging me to be brave and take that next step.

I’m no psychic, but if I were, this book would be my crystal ball of writing that answers every question and assuages all my fears. Having read this book, I’m inspired to trust my writing instincts and run forward with the faith that sooner or later, I’ll find the right path.

This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Bluebird Books.
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Beautifully written, full of insights and wisdom. Anyone embarking on their own writing project will find inspiration here.
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I've been interested in Cathy Rentzenbrink's writing ever since I saw her chair the proceedings at a Booksellers conference several years ago. She was intelligent and capable, warm and funny. 

This book presents her advice on writing in just the same way. You feel relaxed and comfortable in her company, switching off from all other distractions to hang on her every word. And you come away believing in yourself, walking a little taller!

Taking us by the hand, she leads us through all the pitfalls to writing, stepping over all the obstacles. She urges us to believe, to try, to push through. 

There are prompts and exercises. Problems and setbacks are anticipated and solutions offered. And, while Rentzenbrink offers great ideas and encouragement, there is also a collection of comments from other well known writers with their own observations and experiences of the writing process.

This really is a gem of a book which I'm sure I'm going to return to time and again and not just for the tips and exercises, but also for the calm, positive, affirming and uplifting words of Cathy Rentzenbrink. It feels a real comfort!
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A very useful book for writers of memoir and autobiography. Many thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan/Bluebird for the opportunity to read and review Write It All Down.
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I couldn’t wait to read this book and it is everything I hoped it would be and more. I grabbed it on kindle and raced through it from cover to cover and then bought the hard book version so that I can study it and bookmark my favourite exercises. If you want to go on a writers course then this is a great first step and I am now saving up the pennies to go on one of Cathys courses.
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If you have always wanted to write a book and the idea intimidates you and excites you at the same time, this is the book for you. 

I really like the author’s chatty style of writing. It made it easy to engage with the book and gave a real sense of camaraderie. The layout too is really helpful, with section dedication to you first experiences with writing, planning, writing and editing . Each section has short snappy subsections which are both reassuring and full of practical advice on how to venture into writing.  I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who is thinking of dipping their toe into writing. 

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to review an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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Cathy Rentzenbrink's book gently takes the reader - or more accurately in the context of this book "Dear Writer" - through how to start to write a memoir. It considers the barriers to even starting to put pen to paper and how to think differently about capturing what to include in a memoir. But this book isn't about "should or shouldn't". The book isn't prescriptive and isn't a set of rules to follow. It includes suggestions on approach but leaves space for the writer to find their own voice and style.

I write a lot for a living, but in a very different context, and I found it helpful to think about how to shape my writing and overcome barriers and procrastination, particularly as I embark on a new project. But, I also found the pointers helpful to think about how to capture more personal aspects of my life whether in smaller or larger ways.

If memoir interests you, there is a discussion on BBC Woman's Hour, including contributions from Cathy Rentzenbrink on this and her other books https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001326p

The book also includes a number of suggestions of memoirs to read, which has greatly increased my list of books to read. So, my memoir might be on hold for a while.
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This book offers itself as a guide to helping you write, but goes much further, instead feeling like a warm hug from a good friend.

Rentzenbrink very much practises what she preaches in this book, encouraging you to be bold in your vulnerability while being incredibly vulnerable herself, encouraging cheerfulness and empathy whilst doing the same, and telling you to get your first draft down while showing you her draft versions of certain parts.

This book feels immensely generous, encouraging you to go and read but without that feeling like a hollow goal- you get the sense that if you get stuck, you can come back and read the book all over again, and she’ll be there to cheer you on.

I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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There's a passage that stood out for me in this wonderful book about writing by Cathy Rentzenbrink and it's this - 'Writing functions like anti-anxiety medication for me. If I take my two hour pill of it every morning, then I have much more chance of enjoying the rest of the day.' 

Whether you are an established writer, someone hoping to write a book or someone who wants to simply start writing and keeping a journal, there's something in this book for everyone. The main take home message for me was to simply write and keep writing, everyday if you can. I found this book to be really comforting and I loved the journal/writing prompts. Many self-care articles talk about keeping a daily journal for mental health but actually getting started can be hard for a lot of people and writing innermost thoughts can be intimidating. This excellent book has given me tips for how to get started with regular writing practice. I finished it last night and have already purchased a copy for a family member who is in the process of writing a book. The author's insights from her own writing practice are invaluable and I loved hearing tips and ideas from other writers at the end of the book.

I have no doubt this book will be a success and thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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Having read Dear Reader, I was looking forward to reading this as I really enjoy the authors writing style. This was like a perfect little handbook with many helpful tips and advice for writers and a book I will no doubt keep returning to.
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Write It All Down is a guide to putting your life on the page. It offers helpful guidance on how to write memoir. It is a guidebook that is easy to follow and understand with lots of information on the different challenges memoir writers face. I loved the reflections and anecdotes and even found myself absorbed in many of the exercises. I loved the conversational tone of the book and found it a real pleasure to read. I also know that it is a book I will be returning to time and time again. I loved the ease of reading this book and also the confidence I came away with on completion and the numerous stories that were floating around in my brain. I even found myself wondering if memoir might be my next adventure, even though fantasy and romance are my passion. I loved all the little nuggets of wisdom and how to deal with self doubt and procrastination. All in all, this is a real gem and would make a brilliant gift for yourself on any writer in your life. I look forward to adding this book to my shelves in hardback format.
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