Happy New Year. I wish you health, happiness, and memorable adventures.
I’m pleased to announce the publication of a book I’ve been working on for twenty years: Share Your Journey: Mastering Personal Writing.
It contains the (surprisingly easy) techniques professional writers use to write personal memoirs and travel stories that connect with editors and readers.
This fun and well-illustrated handbook is filled with cartoons, music, and film references, as well as plenty of examples of good and bad writing. It’s based on the writing workshops I’ve run in some twenty countries.
Here’s why I wrote Share Your Journey:
You want to write your personal story.
Perhaps you met your soul mate at a cooking class in Tuscany and now make fresh pasta every evening—you’re 40 kilos overweight but happy. You took your eight-year-old daughter to the lake where your parents took you as a child—she caught her first fish.
Or maybe you want to record your family’s history. How Grandfather Ishmael escaped Lithuania hours before he was to be arrested for horse theft; how Grandma Chen left China penniless, then through hard work and a deft touch at the mahjong table, became one of Singapore’s leading real estate tycoons.
Your hero’s journey can take many forms. But perhaps you aren’t too sure how to start your story, how to focus, how to make it interesting for other people.
The Ten Writing Tips in Share Your Journey will give you the tools and confidence to write more effective blogs, write for online and print publications, and make more effective presentations.
Learn how to:
- Recognize the dynamics of your own hero’s journey
- Get started by writing just one scene
- Avoid the dreaded “info dump”
- Create instant intimacy with the reader
- Tell the story by following the Little Red Riding Hood Strategy
- Create conflict with the Nancy Reagan Principle
- Keep ’em hanging on with the Scheherazade Scenario
- Invoke the Story of One to represent the Story of Many
- Write like Steven Spielberg directs
- Eliminate fluff like Michelangelo
Share Your Journey is based on the writing workshops I’ve run in some twenty countries.
Some comments from workshop participants:
“With elegance, deep knowledge, and great generosity Paul has taken me into story and catalyzed my own writing in a way I’d hoped for but was too scared really to expect. I’m thrilled I did this.”
—Shelly from Australia
“Life-changing event. I loved the layers and the learning that evolved.”
—Virginia from Denmark
“For twelve years I had intended to write about my experiences in Africa in the early 1990s, and so far I hadn’t committed a single word to paper. Within days of attending Paul’s workshop I had written 2,500 words, was full of ideas, and couldn’t wait to sit down at the keyboard and continue the story.”
—Barry from Switzerland
“Before I met Paul my only writing experience was the preparation of scientific research manuscripts, and I struggled to deviate from a cold, academic style. Paul has shown me how to tell my personal story and move from ‘cold’ to ‘hot’ while retaining my voice and factual content. Learning from him gave me the confidence to write my first article about my own personal journey, and later, to launch my own blog, something I never imagined I would have the courage to do.”
—Melissa from the UK
A selection of reviews from professional writers:
“Share Your Journey is to good writing as Joy of Cooking is to good food. I wish all my students had this book before taking my writing classes; hell, I wish I had this book earlier in my career. It’s smart, fun, and every page contains nuggets of essential advice.”
—Gary Goshgarian, professor of creative writing, Northeastern University; as Gary Braver, bestselling and award-winning author of Tunnel Vision
“I had just completed a new book. I was pleased with it, until I read Share Your Journey and realized how I could make it better. Many writing guides turn what should be a liberating experience into drudgery and scolding rules. Share Your Journey is different; it helps you unleash an inner voice you may not have realized was inside you. It’s also great fun. As a writer of fiction and biography infused with personal travel, I appreciate its originality and power.”
—Nigel Barley, author of Island of Dreams, White Rajah, and In the Footsteps of Stamford Raffles
“Paul Sochaczewski learned his craft slowly and carefully over a period of decades and he now shares the secrets to why he’s successful in a book. He offers ten simple and obvious but too-often overlooked guidelines, then amply illustrates each with samples from his own works and a library full of other writers (many of them household names, and some participants in his workshops), demonstrating how easily it can be done.”
—Jerry Hopkins, former editor of Rolling Stone and bestselling author of No One Here Gets Out Alive, Bangkok Babylon, Elvis: The Biography, and Romancing the East
“Early in my career, Paul showed me how to write a convincing personal travel piece, something that both tells a good story and connects with the reader. This was a breakthrough for me and helped me begin a career in international journalism ... I’m delighted that Paul's wisdom and sense of humor animate his new book, Share Your Journey ... Paul’s Ten Tips, buttressed by some great to-the-point examples, will stand among the best advice a non-fiction writer can ever hope to have.”
—James Clad, former professor at Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins University; former Far Eastern Economic Review bureau chief in Malaysia, India, and the Philippines; former US assistant secretary of defense; author of Behind the Myth: Business, Money and Power in Southeast Asia
Special launch price for friends:
For the first week only (through January 11), I will offer the ebook at a special price of $4.99 (or £4.99 in the UK. Prices may vary when ordered from other markets).
After January 11, the ebook price will be $9.95.
Buy Now on Kindle US
Buy Now on Kindle UK
If you prefer a real book, you can buy Share Your Journey as a large-format paperback for $24.95. Personally, I would go for the paperback—it’s long (386 pages) and highly illustrated, and you might have fun flipping through it for ideas and inspiration (sample pages below).