Don’t Live for Your Obituary Book Review

Author: John Scalzi
Book Link

Reading John Scalzi is both a fun aberration from life and a thought-provoking pleasure wrapped in humour.

Don’t Live for Your Obituary is a collection of his posts about writing for the past ten years. As someone who hasn’t been reading his (20+ year!) blog consistently, I didn’t mind that he wanted to compile some posts together and sell it as a book.

It is refreshing to hear the voice of someone who has been in the writing field offering solid advice, rather than those who have seen success after a few years and claim their own guru status. It’s also enjoyable to read his potshots against elitism in writing while admitting his own shortcomings (and successes).

I often found myself captured by the arguments he was making and forget to highlight key passages that stuck out at me. Not that this should ever be an issue for a reader, mind you.

Could you imagine?

“Hey, Scalzi. Do you think you could ease up on your prose so it’s not so compelling? I need a break now and then. Thanks.”

Anyway, this book will appeal to anybody who wants the veil of writing lifted for them. For those who are starting, many of these chapters will be helpful in discerning the long road ahead.

And yes… and with great gratitude… Scalzi is one of the very few people who will admit luck has a huge part in success.

For those who have been in it for a while, it’s a refreshing and honest take on what another professional is doing.

Not every chapter will appeal to a reader and even I admit to skimming over a few of them. Perhaps at another point when I’m feeling particularly passionate about the subject will I return to pore over the fine details.

In any case, I look forward to his next ten years of writing.