Over the last couple years I’ve subjected myself to a lot of writer’s memoirs and even a few “How-To” books, and while the results haven’t always been pretty, they have been instructional (assuming you consider “Don’t ever read this writer again” as instructional).

I keep track of my reading on the GoodReads social site, the idea being I get a little jolt of satisfaction every time I finish a book and get to review it. Oddly, none of these reviews have appeared on the blog, and I thought I’d rectify that with a short review of Ann Patchett’s writing memoir: The Getaway Car.

Feel free to disagree in the comments.


The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and LifeThe Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life by Ann Patchett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A quick read, The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life is Ann Patchett‘s addition to the “How I Write” niche, and she handles the topic neatly.

Those looking for shortcuts to writing fame should probably continue their search elsewhere; Patchett is practical and blunt, and her advice applies to pretty much any writing endeavor (fiction, non-fiction, commercial).

Sit down and write, and if you can’t write, then just sit there until you do.

She described the writing fellowship that largely launched her career (envious), and the steps she took later when her writing life was complicated by interviews, travel and other trappings of a “successful” writer.

In one instance, she simply committed to writing an hour a day every day for a month, and because it worked so well, she kept doing it:

“…but it also worked because my life had gotten so complicated and I needed a simple set of rules.”

A short, interesting read, it’s a quick glimpse into yet another writer’s life, the details of which are remarkably similar to the lives of other working writers, but still intriguing.

View all my Goodreads reviews of writing-related books.