Book Reviews

Book Review: 7 Minutes to Freedom

7 Minutes to Freedom: Simple Writing Meditations to Liberate Your Writing and Your Life

By Natalya Androsova

Published in 2021

352 pages

Anyone who follows this blog knows I don’t review a lot of non-fiction books here.  I do review most of them on Goodreads.  (Follow me there as well.  The more the merrier!)  However, lately I realized there are a lot of great ARCs of non-fiction books available so when I pick up one of these, I’ll post a review here.

I’m not a big fan of writing prompts.  I feel like I’m adding pressure to what is an already overloaded day where I’m struggling to squeeze in writing time.  Why write a prompt when I could be working on my novel in progress, or editing a finished novel, or querying, or reading slush, or critiquing? 

This book seemed different – almost a self-help book for writers.  Considering that I was having difficulty connecting to a primary character, was putting off writing her chapters and on a deadline to post them for review, I was willing to try anything that might help get her to talk to me.

First of all, this is NOT a book of pointless writing prompts.  Honestly, I think the author does herself a disservice by marketing this primarily to writers.  It’s also more than a self-help book that talks “at you”.  It’s a vehicle for digging into your psyche and figuring out what makes you tick.  When I read the first prompt, I thought, “Oh, this is shadow work!”  Not remotely what I’d been expecting.

The author’s voice is so warm, it’s like snuggling under a blanket (pardon my cliche). She takes the reader/writer/journaler through prompts dealing with the relationship you have with: yourself; others; life; nature; your world; pain; rhythms of life; time; change; space; freedom; attention; magic; possibilities; heart and soul; faith; and feelings.  If you’re feeling stuck, there’s a lovely section of the author’s own free-writing exercises.

How does this relate to my issues with my character, Margaret?  After the first few prompts, I stopped writing about myself and free-wrote from Margaret’s POV.  What does she see?  How would she handle rejection?  What’s her feelings on her world?  It gave me the boost I needed to settle into her psyche and get on with her next chapter.  Even though the free-writing time was short, the results were eye opening.

In summary, this is not a book to browse through and stick on your shelf.  It’s a resource to come back to again and again.

I rated this book 5 stars.

My rating system:

5 stars – Wow, I could not stop thinking about this book and/or I wish I’d writtn it.

4 stars – This was an awesome novel, I’d recommend it to friends.

3 stars – This was a good novel, I will look for more by this author.

2 stars – An okay novel, but I probably won’t look for anything else by the author.

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.

William Wordsworth

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