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As the title suggests, The Art of Writing by Peter Yang is a guide to becoming a better, or ‘more artistic’ writer. I was kindly provided with a free e-book copy of this book published by TCK Publishing, in exchange for a review.
Being a blogger, I was excited to read this book because I knew it would be directly relevant to me. Whenever I read back over my old posts, I am pleasantly surprised by how much my writing has improved over the years. However, I know I still have a lot to learn, and I hoped this book would give me some tips.
I agree with Peter Yang’s statement at the start of the book that many of us take writing for granted, rather than thinking of it as a skill that can be developed. We reach a certain level of literacy and think, ‘I can write!’ but we don’t think to develop it further.
The author shares four principles to good writing – economy, transparency, variety and harmony – and explains how we can apply these principles and develop our writing skills.
Who is Peter Yang?
Peter Yang is an author, journalistic writer and public speaker from Canada. He is also the founder and CEO of a tech startup called Reviewerly, which gathers customer reviews for online brands. You can learn more about Peter Yang on his website.
My experience reading The Art of Writing
I noticed right from the beginning that Peter Yang’s own writing is very good – clear, concise and easy to focus on. This adds to the credibility of this book, demonstrating that the author is a master of the art of writing himself, so he is qualified to write about it.
This book is very short, at only 58 pages. That is not a bad thing – I like short books because they are quick to read and often easier to digest. In The Art of Writing, the author gets straight to the point – there is no ‘waffle’ and no extended introduction or ending. Just solid content right from the start to the finish. This book is very concise, which explains why it is so short.
At times, it was almost too concise. I could have done with a little more explanation to help me understand some of the author’s points. There were examples throughout the book which helped bring concepts to life, but I could have done with more – at least one example for every concept – to help me grasp things better.
I liked that Peter Yang included advice for the actual process of writing, as well as for the writing itself. For example, he explains the importance of planning your writing sessions and taking breaks.
There were a few grammatical and presentational errors in this e-book. In one place there is a missing full stop, and in another place, a sentence stops midway at the end of a page and doesn’t continue on the next page. I would say that the author should take his own advice on accuracy and presentation, however, I suspect these are more likely to be editing errors.
Would I Recommend The Art of Writing?
This book was useful and informative and I picked up a lot of tips to help me to become a better writer. I am looking forward to studying this book some more and putting the four principles into practice in my writing. Even while I am writing this review, I am already finding myself making adjustments in line with what I have learned in this book.
I’d recommend this book to all writers, whether you are a blogger, novelist, journalist, academic or you just write for fun. It is a quick read – I finished it in about an hour in total – and it contains easily applicable principles to help anyone improve their writing skills.
I was amazed to find out after reading this book that Peter Yang was only 15 when he wrote it. It comes across as being written by someone with years of experience, and before looking him up I automatically assumed Peter Yang to be an older man. This is testimony to his writing skills! If he is already producing such high-quality writing at 15, he is definitely one to watch in the future.