7 Minutes to Freedom: Simple Writing Meditations to Liberate Your Writing and Your Life
By Natalya Androsova
Published in 2021
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