eBook Review: Building a Life Out of Words by Shawn Smucker

Shortly after starting this blog, I joined Bryan Allain’s Killer Tribes community. There, I “met” a little guy named Shawn Smucker. I read his blog. I liked it. You should read it too!

One of the first guest posts I ever wrote was for his blog. And he wrote one for me. What a cool guy!

So Shawn has just released an eBook entitled: Building a Life Out Of Words. He was kind enough to send a copy my way. And I was kind enough to give it a review, which will be happening right now!

What It Is: Storytelling.

One of Shawn’s great strengths is storytelling. His blog is full of events, big and small, that he has told in a way that illuminates the wonderful story within.

And in this book, he kicks it up a notch.

Building a Life Out Of Words is the story of how Shawn chased his dream of writing as a full time job. He invites us along for his journey, and it is a lot of fun.

I have not ever aspired to be a writer full time, but Shawn tells his story in a way that I think we can all relate. Who hasn’t experienced the fear of the unknown, but also the adrenaline rush of running full-speed into it? Who hasn’t wondered if they should just give up when something gets difficult? Who hasn’t rejoiced in a small victory?

I found myself rooting for him. Go Shawn! Go! Keep writing! Keep putting yourself out there!

Do this for us! Do it for the dreamers and the people who think, “maybe something like this is possible, but I don’t think I could do it.”

It’s a great story. And a quick read. You aren’t signing up for “Atlas Shrugged” when you start this one. Do yourself a favor. Read it.

What It Isn’t: A How-To Manual

If you want to go into writing full time, you will doubtless find lots of helpful information.

But you won’t find step-by-step instructions on how to make a living as a writer. Like I said before, you will find a story of one guy who did it and is doing it.

And you know what? In the end, that is more helpful.

We need good stories before we need steps. 

And even when Shawn highlights some principle he has learned, it is always within the context of a story. And I appreciated that. I’ve read enough “how-to” blogs. Speaking of that . . .

What You May Find Helpful, But I Didn’t Need

Scattered throughout the book are little excerpts from other bloggers and writers, many of whom I greatly respect, about things they have learned about the writing life.

By about halfway through the book, I just started skipping them. I wanted Shawn’s story.

You might find them to be super helpful, fantastic. I just thought they broke up the narrative.

All In All

Building A Life Out Of Words is an excellent and inspirational book. I am thankful that Mr. Smucker has shared his life with us in this way. We need people to tell their stories. We need to hear about journeys into the unknown in pursuit of our dreams. We need to hear of the victories and the failures. We need to know that things like this are possible.

And I hope that more and more stories will be told as a result of this book.

Nice work, Shawn.

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