Go to Homepage   Ellen Jaffe: Writing Your Way: Creating a Personal Journal


Crescent Blues Book ViewsSumach Press, ISBN 1-894549-04-X
Ellen Jaffe describes herself as writer, teacher and psychotherapist. In Writing Your Way: Creating a Personal Journal, she explores the rewards and the many benefits to the writer, of writing; the ways in which writing one's suffering can help to heal one from traumatic experiences; how you can use the act of writing to enrich the way you live your life, and bring you closer to yourself and to the people around you -- and maybe even bring fame and fortune to you!

Book: Ellen Jaffe, writing your wayJaffe actively encourages her readers to become writers. One can either work one's way through her book from front cover to the back, or else you can dip into it at random, as a topic grabs interest or importance in your life. Writing Your Way: Creating a Personal Journal comprises more than twenty different chapters that deal with all aspects of life, ranging from Food & Clothing through Sexuality, Solitude, Secrets, and Spirituality to Pasts, Present and Future.

Each section ends off with a few writing exercises for you to do immediately or later or not at all, as the mood moves you. All of the exercises will help you to fill a personal journal with new knowledge about yourself and your growing ability to record this understanding with the written word. They are many and varied in type, to appeal to all writing styles, as well as to introduce novice writers to the diversity of ways that one can express oneself in words.

The exercises include assignments in forms ranging from haiku and letters, through short, timed-writings to longer, well planned essays. You will find some group writing projects and individual exercises to develop your imagination, your observation skills and your ability to get inside other points of view. Ellen Jaffe also sets writing tasks designed to teach you to use and create images, and to tease a story out of the most everyday of items, such as a shopping list, or an old T-shirt.

By the time you work your way to the last section of the book, Ellen Jaffe says, "You are ready to begin again. You are ready to open or create the last door -- the end that is, in fact, the beginning." Jaffe's final chapter discusses ways for the newly hatched writer to continue to write her world, and it offers ideas that even seasoned writers can use to broaden and enrich their writing.

Not only a book to inspire the novice to begin writing and the experienced writer to enhance his or her craft, Writing Your Way: Creating a Personal Journal also works well as a fun tool for writing groups that want to incorporate some structured work into their meetings!

Moira Richards

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