Review and comment: Elizabeth Sims

You've Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your DreamsYou’ve Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams by Elizabeth Sims

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t consider myself seasoned enough to really discuss the pro’s and con’s of “process” but believe in my heart that the best time to study craft is AFTER writing 100,000 words of dreck. Only then do these pearls sink in. I heard Elizabeth Sim’s speak a couple of years ago and was impressed by her unique ability to distill ideas to and understandable essence. A rare gift.

Her book, “You’ve Got a Book in You” is just that. A distillation of some basic tenets that every writer can adopt. The examples were clear and resonant. And what I walked away with, along with some great tools, was a new understanding and trust in my own worth as a writer.I don’t work like anyone else. My voice and process are unique to me. More importantly, that’s OKAY!
Thanks, Ms Sim’s for sharing your experience so eloquently!


When I started writing, I bought and read several writing books. Frankly, they confused the heck out of me. It felt like conflicting advice. There were dozens of terms and phrases that were complete Greek.

Bottom line: I was convinced I was doing EVERYTHING WRONG! And pretty much, I was. But I kept writing. I knew one thing to be true, that we should write the kinds of stories we want to read. So I did! I’m not sure of the count now, nine or ten COMPLETED manuscripts.

Yeah , Baby, that’s what I’m talking about!

That was essentially due to my die-hard loyalty to the NaNoWriMo program seven years in a row. To be honest, they are not ready for prime-time. They are mostly the dreaded “first-drafts” Tantalizing dreck, BUT complete stories.

Someday I’ll polish some of them up and submit them. In the meantime I have new ideas percolating and with new tools I have, courtesy of some really fine teachers, I’ll be telling Better stories!

Thanks again, Elizabeth! Great book.

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10 thoughts on “Review and comment: Elizabeth Sims

  1. If Elizabeth Sims wrote a book about rebuilding transmissions, I would buy it and read it FIVE times. Since, to my knowledge, she hasn’t — I’ll buy this one and read it TEN times. That way, if I can’t fix my transmission, I’ll at least have the confidence to rewrite it. Thanks, Barrett, for this fine endorsement of a seminal work!

    1. Actually, I’m in the middle of writing a book on restoring and articulating dinosaur skeletons, which should be a hot seller worldwide. But I hope you like the one on writing….

  2. Barrett! You sweet thang! I’m honored that you think so well of the book, and thank you for taking the time and energy to tell your followers. Judging by the qualtiy and popularity of your work, you were doing VERY WELL in the first place, using your own heart as a guide. And you really GOT my message: If we trust ourselves and loosen the hell up, we can achieve wonderful, original, passionate art.

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