Skip to main content

Take Joy

A Writer's Guide to Loving the Craft


Buy book | Amazon  | BN.com

Take Joy

A Writer's Guide to Loving the Craft
by Jane Yolen
Writer's Digest Books, 2006
ISBN 978-1-58297-385-2
$14.99 paperback, 208 pages

Image placeholder title

About the Book
Are you a writer longing to rediscover the joy that you once had in the craft (or even find it for the first time)? In this inspiring guide, Jane Yolen, an author who has been called America’s Hans Christian Andersen, shows writers how to focus on aspects of the craft that bring them joy.

She remarks in the first chapter, “Save the blood and pain for real life, where tourniquets and ibuprofen can have some chance of helping. Do not be afraid to grab hold of the experience with both hands and take joy.”

Addressing topics all writers struggle with, Yolen discusses the writer’s voice, beginnings and endings, dealing with rejection, the technical aspects of writing, and the process of coming up with an idea—and deals with each of them in a way that focuses on the positive and eliminates the negative.

As Yolen says, “Be prepared as you write to be surprised by your own writing, surprised by what you find out about yourself and about your world. Be ready for the happy accident.”

Get ready to take joy in your writing once again.


About the Author

Jane Yolen has been called America’s Hans Christian Andersen (Newsweek) and a modern-day Aesop (The New York Times). Her books and stories have won many awards, including the Caldecott Medal (for Owl Moon, and an Honor Award for The Emperor and the Kite), the Nebula Award, the Christopher Medal, the World Fantasy Award, the Mythopoeic Society’s Aslan Award, the Golden Kit Award, the Jewish Book Award, and many other honors. Her books and stories have been translated into fourteen languages, including Japanese, Chinese, Afrikaans, and !Xhosa.

She has also written and edited collections of poetry, short stories, and books on folklore, storytelling, and children’s literature, including Touch Magic and The Guide to Writing Books for Children.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Having an Online Presence

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Having an Online Presence

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is not having an online presence.

Shirlene Obuobi: On Writing From Experience

Shirlene Obuobi: On Writing From Experience

Physician, cartoonist, and author Shirlene Obuobi discusses the writerly advice that led to writing her new coming-of-age novel, On Rotation.

WD Poetic Form Challenge

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Kimo Winner

Learn the winner and Top 10 list for the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for the kimo.

8 Things Writers Should Know About Tattoos

8 Things Writers Should Know About Tattoos

Tattoos and their artists can reveal interesting details about your characters and offer historical context. Here, author June Gervais shares 8 things writers should know about tattoos.

Tyler Moss | Reporting Through Lens of Social Justice

Writing Through the Lens of Social Justice

WD Editor-at-Large Tyler Moss makes the case for reporting on issues of social justice in freelance writing—no matter the topic in this article from the July/August 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Intentional Trail

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Intentional Trail

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character leave clues for people to find them.

Sharon Maas: On Books Finding the Right Time

Sharon Maas: On Books Finding the Right Time

Author Sharon Maas discusses the 20-year process of writing and publishing her new historical fiction novel, The Girl from Jonestown.

6 Steps to Becoming a Good Literary Citizen

6 Steps to Becoming a Good Literary Citizen

While the writing process may be an independent venture, the literary community at large is full of writers who need and want your support as much as you need and want theirs. Here, author Aileen Weintraub shares 6 steps in becoming a good literary citizen.

Daniel Paisner: On the Pursuit of a Creative Life

Daniel Paisner: On the Pursuit of a Creative Life

Journalist and author Daniel Paisner discusses the process of writing his new literary fiction novel, Balloon Dog.