This Is Not a Writing Manual: Notes for the Young Writer in the Real World
Basics for the Newer Writer
What I Loved:
Written as a narrative memoir instead of a "how to" manual, this book gives plenty of real world experiences and examples to illustrate each topic. Writers who are new to the field or who are considering whether this is the career they want will find a helpful crash course in the basics of writing for a living. The author discusses aspects of the writing process and how hers evolved, how it looks to live life as a writer (Writing groups, what to do when it's hard, do you need a creative writing major etc.), and how to support yourself and handle the times when supporting yourself becomes nearly impossible.
The author's narrative style is direct and accessible and should resonate with teen writers. She tears away the romantic mystique associated with being a starving writer typing away in a lonely garret and gives practical, real world advice while refraining from saying "this is the only way to successfully be a writer." New writers will have a better understanding of what they face and what mistakes to (try to) avoid after reading this.
What Left Me Wanting More:
At times the anecdotal nature of the narrative made it harder to extract the author's intended message. Teens may want to read with a highlighter in hand to pull out of the narrative the tips that they want to remember.
A realistic look at the life of a writer told in accessible, anecdotal prose makes THIS IS NOT A WRITING MANUAL a solid tool in any new writer's belt.