Hope in the mail by Wendelin Van Draanen

Hi everyone, I hope you all are enjoying the festive season and the holidays. This last week of the year has felt so rushed. I hope you all manage to get some downtime and have a moment to reflect on all you have achieved. When it comes to achievements, I used to think that if I hadn’t written anything original of my own then my writing goals haven’t been met. But I changed my thought process after I decided to read as much as I could on writing while I flex those specific muscles, literally. So, this last week I’ll leave you with a teen book on writing to get you started if you need a little something…

cover image of pencil shavings with small green pencil sharpener and a few pencils along bottom. red letters to right of image reads Hope in the Mail.
Writing and teens…

Title: Hope in the mail: reflections on writing and life

Author: Wendelin Van Draanen

Genre: Teen Non Fiction – writing

Publication details: Alfred A. Knopf; NY, 2020

ISBN: 978184894663  (Hardcover)

What this book is about: Wendelin Van Draanen didn’t grow up dreaming of being a writer, but more than thirty books later, she’s convinced that writing saved her life. Or at least, saved her from a life of bitterness and despair. Writing helped her sort out what she thought and felt and wanted. Digging into the motivation of her fictional characters taught her how to look at the real people in her life more deeply, too. In this book, Wendelin shares all she’s learned in the hard-knocks school of writing – finding your voice, creating characters people will care about, making the plot move, and learning to love revision. She offers funny and practical advice about how to live a successful creative life. And she answers the perennial question of where ideas come from by sharing how events in her life become the seeds of her novels. Hope in the mail is a wonderfully inspirational guide for writers of all ages. You can do this! You can!!

My review: My heart soared with every turn of the pages in this awesome book!! For me, by far, this was THE book all aspiring writers need to read before embarking on that particular journey. I wish she had written this when I’d had the seeds of writing ideas in my own mind!! I’m glad I read it as it will be the one resource I will base any future attempts on my own adventure on. I really loved the stories of her own life that crept into every aspect of the craft and enjoyed learning the behind-the-scenes of publishing too. For all aspiring writers out there no matter your age, I would personally recommend this amazing read to get you kickstarted on your own projects!! 

My rating: 5 ⭐

Best lesson I learned:

‘Knowing the ending is crucial. It’s what you should be driving toward, and it, as your destination, affects everything else.’

Wendelin Van Draanen

Quote across middle Keep going. Everything you need will come to you at a perfect time. behind sunset over road. trees and grass on either side. orange glowing clouds in sky.
Some inspiration…

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