Book Review: Confessions Of A Freelance Penmonkey By Chuck Wendig


Yes, I said winners. I chose one comment at random (actually my cat did. She knocked over the hat full of numbers and in the end there was only one left in it). I also picked one because it contained the bit of advice I wish I’d gotten.

Actually I did get the advice, I just didn’t listen.

So the random draw winner is Bailey (The Bookworm)  and the one I picked out is from (Squid Ink) Sarah. Congratulations and thanks for commenting.

Thanks everyone else for commenting too. I’ll be doing more giveaways soon.



First a confession from this penmonkey; I’m a fan of Chuck Wendig’s writing. I love his blog and his work, so this review probably isn’t coming from a place you could call unbiased.


With that said, I loved Confessions Of A Freelance Penmonkey. Chuck has taken all of his best advice for writers from his blog and put it all together in a liquor and profanity soaked hybrid tome. This is not for the faint of heart, if you can’t cope with swearing, sexual references (including but not limited to badgers) and writing advice that sounds like it came from a belligerent sasquatch then this is not your writing advice book.


Sometimes books that are made up of blog posts are pointless money grabs, and while I can’t deny that Chuck’s probably getting paid for Confessions Of A Freelance Penmonkey he manages to avoid the “pointless” by putting in an editors commentary to each post, telling readers how he feels about the advice he gave then, and any extra advice on top of what he’s already given. These little extras are not just one hundred word bites added in ten minutes of desperation (I don’t think so anyway), they are well thought out and often several pages long.


There was some criticism that the book is full of mistakes, but I didn’t find that in the copy I bought from Amazon. This may be down to me being unobservant, but I didn’t find any typos that pulled me up short or made me want to write Chuck an angry email.


There is a certain theme to the points, which is that of a drunken three am rant by a bearded and desperate writer pushed to the edges of sanity, so if you don’t enjoy the blog posts at Chuck’s website then I should warn you that the beardy insanity is omnipresent in Confessions Of A Freelance Penmonkey.

Chuck manages to cover a lot of ground over the course of one book. Plot, structure, story, characterization and dialogue all get serious scrutiny. So does querying and self publishing.

To sum up: The advice is excellent, bullshit free advice that gets to the core of the problems that plague virtually all writers (pants, or no pants? That is the question.) I found the posts hilarious and relevant to the things I’m doing a writer. This book is five bucks, and I think that makes it a bargain.



Hit up Chuck’s site here for the myriad of ways you can buy the book.



So, I’m going to give away a copy of this to a random commenter. Tell me the one piece of writing advice you wish you’d gotten before you started writing and I’ll pick a winner on Friday.



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