For the Love of a Word

Most books are geared towards two kinds of people: readers, and writers — who are generally readers by default. This book is different.

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For the Love of a Word is a series of poems and love letters directed at writers. It is meant to target the various aches and joys that assail our souls, the transports and the despairs that wring us head to foot. It is a compilation of works by sixteen different authors who want you to know that you are not alone.

The poems are varied in style, some using complex rhyme and meter that I found a delight to explore, others drawing upon free-verse and an economy of words. Almost every one touched off a chord in my writer’s soul. I found myself thinking, “Yes! I know this! And I understand that! These are things I have felt every day of my life.”

The letters, too, are winning: warm, friendly, sometimes chatty, always encouraging. The little sparks kept going off in my brain. “Yes — yes — yes.”

About halfway through, my verdict was “excellent — not merely good; not exceptional, maybe, but excellent.”

And then I got to the letter to extroverts. And the sparks in my brain turned into a fire.

You don’t remember a time when
you didn’t write stories. From the
youngest age memory can recall, you were
writing and illustrating stories for all of
your friends so they could enjoy them.
You wrote because you had to, and you
wrote because you loved to see others
— For the Love of a Word, "To the Extroverted Writer", by Keturah Lamb

This. This is why I write. I never heard anyone say these words that I’ve known so long inside my head. Yet here they were. Shining. Understanding. Imprinting on my brain. This writer knew me.

From the same letter:

They say, “You might be a writer if
you binge watch Netflix late into the early
Or, “You might be a writer if you
own piles of chocolate.”
Or, “You might be a writer if you
prefer books to people.”
But you know that makes as much
sense as saying, “The sky is pink because
trees are purple.”

No, a writer is a dreamer that never
sleeps, though yearning for rest. Anyone
can watch Netflix, eat chocolate, or hide
from society. But only a writer will always
be burdened with words that need to see
the light of a smile.
Your smile. Their smiles.
One day those smiles come. It is a
beautiful day indeed, and on that day you
know that you’ll never stop writing,
despite all the hate that might and will still
claw at your soul.
— For the Love of a Word, "To the Extroverted Writer", by Keturah Lamb

Am I crying? I feel like I might. Only because it’s so much echoed in these words that I have felt so many times.

There are innumerable tips, rants, and sympathy out there for all kinds of writers, but I have never seen a love letter addressing the extroverts among us. This was when I knew that this book really was a gift — to anyone. And that, quite simply, made it exceptional.

It is wonderful to feel that you are understood. There is something in this slim anthology for every writer, and even, I think, any sensitive soul who has loved art — whether in words or other forms.

For the Love of a Word released less than a week ago! Check it out at the compiler’s website: Also available through Amazon.

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I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review; opinions are my own.