SARK, poster child for Coloring Outside the Lines and Succulence, has scored another hit, and this time she is squirting her juiciness directly into the souls of life story writers. The lengthy subtitle of her fifteenth volume, Juicy Pens Thirsty Paper, is Gifting the World with Your Words and Stories and Creating the Time and Energy to Actually Do It. In her inimical style, words flow in every color of the rainbow, enhanced with her trademark doodles and fillips, fulfilling the promise of the title.
Her Writer’s Manifesto appears on the very first page, showcasing her spirit and serving as an example for writing our own:
May words and letters assemble themselves and collect without effort on pages and screens.Throughout the book, words tumble forth like frolicking children, That’s how SARK is. Bubbly, Exuberant. Colorful and juicy. She makes readers believe anything is possible, because she has done the seemingly impossible herself. Like her other books, this one sounds like it’s written by the nicest, most lovable cheerleader you could ever hope to meet. I felt like a kindergarten kid standing at a painting easel as I read, and although I’ve already written stacks and piles of stories and a growing list of books, she inspires me to write more, to keep “moving my tools” and trying new ways of writing.
May I live my life joy-fully and in between and during these times, learning to dance with distractions, being conscious of the ways my writing practice fills my soul.
May my writing teach me to leap forth and lead my words to be read when this serves me and others.
May my writer’s heart be free of competition, comparison or questing for money or recognition, and remember that we all write for everyone.
May I write my truth and write authentically even after times that I might write falsely, timidly or with ulterior motives. May I embrace the challenges as well as the joys of writing.
Despite her sometimes simplistic approach, the book contains solid, useful advice, helping the timid get those tools moving through first drafts. She gives instructions for teaching friends and family how to be helpful. She explains how to fit writing into over-crowded schedules. She convinces us we do dare write about that! and how to manage our inner censor and writer's block. She explores ways of making our writing real and going deeper. She includes project management tips and oodles of writing prompts.
Although this is not specifically a workbook, she includes space to do some of the exercises she recommends, and peppers the pages with inspirational quotes. At the end of the book she includes interviews with five other writers, explains how she produces her own books (writing/drawing each page by hand at least four times) and fills eight pages with resources for writers that include self-publishing sites, writing tips, inspiration, and supplies. She includes lists of writers’ organizations, retreats, music for writers, and thirty-three recommended books.
It is worth noting that while SARK’s wildly colorful, handwritten pages excite and inspire most people, some find their busy-ness overstimulating, even hard to read. If you want to take a look at SARK’s style before ordering, check out her monthly eletter or take a look inside the book on the Amazon site (this Amazon feature is not yet active on August 5, but should be soon).
Write now: with a juicy pen or several, on thirsty paper, about something dashing and daring that you have done. Let your inner child out to play. Scribble, doodle, make a mess. You can edit and clean it up later. It’s play time! Or, get out your crayons and draw a picture of a childhood memory. Check out my example of such a picture.