Thursday, March 22, 2012


Title: Unleash The Writer Within
Author: Cecil Murphey
Publisher: OakTara (November 18, 2011)
Pages: 160

When Editorial Director of Oak Tara, Ramona Cramer Tucker, spoke at our monthly ACFW Chicago Northwest Chapter meeting, she came with a stack of books to sell. One of them was UNLEASH THE WRITER WITHIN, The Essential Writers’ Companion, by CECIL MURPHEY. She raved about the book, claiming it was different than any other writing book out there. I was currently reading what I thought to be the greatest writing book. Surly UNLEASH THE WRITER WITHIN wasn’t going to tell me anything I hadn’t already heard.

Only because Ms. Tucker spoke so enthusiastically about UNLEASH THE WRITER WITHIN, and because it was reasonable priced, as well as it looked like a quick read, I reluctantly purchased it. What did I need with another book about writing? I had several at home waiting to be read.

As I began to read UNLEASH THE WRITER WITHIN, I was quickly drawn in. This was not your typical book on writing. It reads like a great novel or perhaps a well written diary. The chapters are short, packed full of great information. The content is honest, refreshing, full of wisdom and courage.

If you were to look into my copy you’d find several dog eared pages, highlight galore and words written throughout. What a refreshing read. Over the years I’ve been inundated with how to or what I should write. In this book Mr. Murphey speaks from the heart what many writers often think but are reluctant to express.

At the end of each chapter there is an aphorism that sums up the contents. At the end of the book there is a list of all twenty-seven, a great review/reminder. If I had to pick one that was the most impactful and profound, I couldn’t. Instead I came up with five.

#15. “I learn from other writers. I grow my voice by paying attention to the writers I like to read.”

#21. “I want to be the best me I can, so I follow my natural rhythm, and don’t try to imitate anyone else.”

#25. “I can resent others for their achievements, or I can admire them for what they’ve accomplished. I can determine to work as hard as they do.”

#26. “I am a passionate person. I can be a passionate writer if I choose.”

#27. “This is the best I can do at this stage of my development.”

I have always felt that I must write what I feel in my soul, what is right, not what society, editors, publishers or the market deems I should write. Cecil Murphey’s words not only confirm that to be a good thing, he lives by it. From what I understand of Oak Tara, they too believe the same, and are willing to give author’s the chance to speak from their heart.

If the only thing UNLEASH THE WRITER WITHIN taught me was #27, “This is the best I can do at this stage of my development.” it was worth every penny. I highly recommend this book to all writers no matter where they are in their journey of writing.

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