Motherhood is a wonderful experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I look back on moments and I often think about writing them down. My memories are already growing a little hazy and sometimes I try to recall a certain word that my oldest used and I just can't, even though it's on the tip of my tongue. As a mother, I love photographs and I'll sit for hours after the kids are asleep, looking at old pictures. If only I could capture my words like one of these perfect little pictures. Kate Hopper has given me the gift to write about my children so I can write about all aspects of motherhood. Any uncertainty is long gone. After reading this book, I feel that any writer or aspiring writer can gain a lot with the techniques described in this book. It is full of insight and many examples to guide you. It's not the type of book that I would sit down to read for pleasure, and I'm not really into self help books. That being said, I enjoyed the content and I'll admit, it made me look at motherhood in a new light. Hopper is challenging and engaging. She connects with her readers because of her very real experiences with motherhood. Use Your Words is available on Amazon.
About The Book:
USE YOUR WORDS introduces the art of creative nonfiction to women who want to give written expression to their lives as mothers. Written by award-winning teacher and writer, Kate Hopper, this book will help women find the heart of their writing, learn to use motherhood as a lens through which to write the world, and turn their motherhood stories into art. Each chapter of USE YOUR WORDS focuses on an element of craft and contains a lecture, a published essay, and writing exercises that will serve as jumping-off points for the readers’ own writing. Chapter topics include: the importance of using concrete details, an overview of creative nonfiction as a genre, character development, voice, humor, tense and writing the “hard stuff,” reflection and back-story, structure, revision, and publishing. The content of each lecture is aligned with the essay/poem in that chapter to help readers more easily grasp the elements of craft being discussed. Together the chapters provide a unique opportunity for mother writers to learn and grow as writers.
USE YOUR WORDS takes the approach that creative writing can be taught, and this underscores each chapter. When students learn to read like writers, to notice how a piece is put together, and to question the choices a writer makes, they begin to think like writers. When they learn to ground their writing in concrete, sensory details and begin to understand how to create believable characters and realistic dialogue, their own writing improves. USE YOUR WORDS reflects Kate’s style as a teacher, guiding the reader in a straightforward, nurturing, and passionate voice. As one student noted in a class evaluation: “Kate is a born writer and teacher, and her enthusiasm for essays about motherhood and for teaching the nuts and bolts of writing so that ordinary mothers have the tools to write their stories is a gift to the world. She is raising the value of motherhood in our society as she helps mothers build their confidence and strengthen their game as writers.”
Disclosure: I received a copy in order to complete this review. A favorable review was not required.