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Writing from the Inside Out

by Dennis Palumbo

John Wiley & Sons, 2000

241 Pages

Reviewed by Beth Morrow

Copyright 2005 - All Rights Reserved



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Some of the best writing books have nothing to do with craft. Instead, through insightful anecdotes and an engaging writing style, they remind us of the reasons we became writers: not to gain fame, fortune and a spot on the NYT Bestseller List (not that we'd turn those down), but because there's a need, an urge deep within us to tell our stories.

Dennis Palumbo's Writing from the Inside Out: Transforming Your Psychological Blocks to Release the Writer Within is one of those books. Palumbo, a former Hollywood screenwriter-turned-licensed-psychotherapist who helps writers of all types address creative issues and career transitions, reminds us that while writing is individual, the need to create and feel valued as a writer is universal.

Writing from the Inside Out is one of those books you can't put down. Through relevant stories from his experiences and clients, Palumbo gives to writer-readers plenty of what we find most fascinating: the revelation of the writing soul from another's perspective and he relates that author's issue to a collective writing truth. Palumbo hides nothing from the reader. The stories are personal, fascinating and each one touches the writing soul in a different way.

The book contains eight main topic areas:

The Writing Life provides an overview of just what it says: seven stories that illustrate writing life;

You Are Enough helps alleviate issues of the self-doubt of writers with five stories;

Grist for the Mill sheds light on seven areas we share least with others but affect us most as writers, including envy, judgment, faith and fear;

The Real World. Three of the six topics include pitches, rejections and deadlines. Need I say more?

Page Fright. We've all had it and Palumbo addresses the issues surrounding procrastination, patience and five additional areas to overcome.

The Real World, Part II begins where The Real World left off: agents--and continues with four relevant stories;

Hanging On gives inspiration when burnout and the realization that writing is hard work sets in, and;

Dispatches from the Front brings a satisfying completion to the cycle of life as perceived by the writer in five hopeful stories.

The stories in Dennis Palumbo's Writing from the Inside Out: Transforming Your Psychological Blocks to Release the Writer Within are ones you won't soon forget. Its conversational style and inspirational messages remind writers that by taking the time to put a half-full, not half-empty perspective on those blocks to writing greatness we encounter, we will not only grow as writers but individuals as well.

About the author: Beth Morrow is a nationally-published freelance writer whose first love is fiction writing. She is the editor-in-chief of the Writers-Loft Newsletter, the monthly newsletter based on her daily blog of writer's resources at: www.writers-loft.blogspot.com. In addition, she writes a monthly ezine column featuring small press and independent publishers.



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