By Aren Cohen –
Today is the launch day for the eBook of Kathryn Britton’s new must-read guide to writing: Sit Write Share: Practical Writing Strategies to Transform Your Experience into Content that Matters. The paperback version will be available by May 3.
The elegant title of this stellar book captures the basic elements of how to become a writer. Overcoming our inner demons to allow ourselves to become writers is hard. It can be even harder becoming good writers who see our projects through from start to finish. As Kathryn explains in the book introduction, a reader will find strategies to make writing “absorbing and satisfying.” Sit Write Share is filled with practical wisdom about the writing process focused on making it both more gratifying and aligned with achieving personal writing goals.
Sit Write Share should be a resource in your personal library like a great cookbook is a staple in your kitchen. In the introduction, Kathryn suggests that writers approach writing with an experimental mindset. In this sense, Sit Write Share offers readers the opportunity to follow Kathryn’s experiments, or recipes, to the letter, or let them guide experimentation to “fit your particular tastes and circumstances.” Likely some experiments will become favorite go-to staples that appear frequently on your writing menu, while others will help you think holistically about planning a dinner party or four-course meal– presumably the book or long-form piece that you want to write.
Who is the author, and how did this book come to be?
If you’re a member of the Positive Psychology community and do not know Kathryn Britton, MAPP ‘06, there is no better introduction to Kathryn’s talent, insight and humor than Sit Write Share. After studying “the ingredients of creativity, persistence, resilience and optimism” at the University of Pennsylvania, Kathryn discovered she had “a gift for writing and helping others write.” Nine years ago, after working with many individual authors, Kathryn began offering writing workshops both to the MAPP community and the public at large. Since then, more than 125 authors have participated in workshops producing more than 3000 pieces of writing.
Kathryn’s years of experience of working with writers was the genesis for Sit Write Share. She continues to help many writers overcome obstacles, facilitating a lot of successful writing. Sit Write Share is the accumulation of Kathryn’s observations and knowledge gained while assisting other authors move various writing projects from their first glimmerings over the finish line.
The clarity and order of Sit Write Share is excellent. Kathryn organizes the steps and the topics involved in the writing process in an accessible way. On a macro level, the book is split into three sections: Sit, Write, and Share, each with their own experiments. Within the Sit section, there are four subsections: Intentions, Gremlins, Habits, and Inspiration. Within the Write section there are three subsections: Imagine, Draft, and Edit. Within the Share section, there are four subsections: Audience, Support, Publish, and Network. Each subsection has experiments specific to the given topic.
The subsections offer a framework that will stick with readers as they conceptualize the writing process. Additionally, each experiment is presented in a friendly way with approachable stories, keen observations, concrete steps, and nifty morals to sum them up. Readers may dip in and out to find the experiments most useful to them, but there is also a clear trajectory as the book moves along so that readers receive a “start to finish” resource for a writing project.
What will this book do for you?
Everyone stands to benefit from reading Sit Write Share because it will make them better, more confident writers. The many experiments in this book can help readers initiate and fine tune writing.
From a personal perspective, my favorite experiment in this book is: Join a Writers Workshop. In an ideal world, everyone could take writing workshops led by Kathryn! Unfortunately, as a mere mortal, we cannot clone Kathryn. Thankfully with Sit Write Share, Kathryn has made her secret sauce accessible to the wider audience that wants to improve their writing and share it with the public. While it may be impossible to join a Kathryn-led writing workshop, with Sit Write Share ,Kathryn provides an invaluable reference that empowers readers to learn from her experiments, experience, and best practices.
Kathryn has provided a free workbook to go with Sit Write Share that can help you take stock of your own writing practice and then select the next best experiment to try, given what you’ve discovered. Look for the workbook giveaway on the Sit Write Share website.
Thank you Kathryn for making the knowledge you’ve gained available to the wider world.
Get your copy of Sit Write Share now!
Aren Cohen, MBA, MAPP ’07 is a learning specialist working with academically, motivationally and emotionally challenged students in the leading private schools in New York City. As shown in her website and blog, Strengths for Students, Aren uses the tenets of positive psychology to teach her students to use their strengths of character to change educational challenges into educational triumphs. Full bio. Aren’s articles are here.