52 books in 52 weeks: The Busy Mom’s Guide to Writing

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 37.

The Busy Mom’s Guide to Writing by Angela Castillo and Jamie Foley, is the first in a series of (currently) three writers’ guides. Later this year, all three books will be available in a boxset, so it might be worth hanging on until then before buying it.

The “busy mom’s” part of this is a bit of a misnomer. Yes, the authors are both mothers, and yes, they’re busy. But really, this book can apply to anyone who is busy. There’s not a lot about working around your kids, specifically. But it’s a good hook to hang it from.

A quick look at the contents demonstrates a great sense of humour from the authors, with titles like “Goals for World Domination” and “Plotting Your Story Like an Evil Mastermind”. But again, this is another quirky peg from which to hang an idea.

Pretty much everything in the book is what you can read anywhere else, but the authors have made it a nice easy read that’s fun as well.

Topics covered include time management (of course), choosing what to write, plotting or pantsing, creating characters, common pitfalls to avoid, and whether to go the traditional route, whether to self-publish and whether to become a hybrid of the two. These two authors seem to consider self-publishing the way to go, and they cover their reasons why. But they also look at pros and cons of all three.

They offer some great advice on where and how to find beta readers, proofreaders and editors, and when to start paying for these services. They also give some useful guides on how much you can expect to pay for editing and proofreading.

It’s a nice, fun, quick read with a few things to consider and to try at the end of each chapter. But with the boxed set of three due out at the end of June, I think I’d wait until then.

The Busy Mom’s Guide to Writing is available on Kindle for £2.12 ($2.98) and in paperback for £7.10 ($9.99).