P.J. Fox has released an excerpt of her forthcoming book on writing, I Look Like This Because I’m a Writer: How to Overcome Sloth, Self-doubt, and Poor Hygiene to Realize the Writing Career of Your Dreams, on her website.

This is the kind of writing guide we can get behind: honest, simple, and based on personal experience.

Here’s a summary of the book’s major sections from the Introduction:

So what is in this book?

This book is broken up into five sections, each of which deals with a different aspect of the writing process.  Section one is about the nuts and bolts of writing and covers everything from where to (and where not to) get ideas, to how to open your novel and how to write dialogue.  But what’s different about this book, too—and about me as a writing coach—is that the nuts and bolts are only the beginning.  They are, to borrow some legalese, necessary but not sufficient.  In other words, writing the greatest novel opener ever is pretty vital—but, on its own, will only take you so far.

Which is why section two is all about how to succeed.  Not financially, and not on Amazon, but against your inner demons.  How to overcome the negative programming telling you that focusing on your writing is a waste of time and how, too, to overcome the idea that if it’s art it should be easy.  I offer motivational advice, as well as a series of concrete, practical tips, that you can use to help ensure that all of your brilliant ideas actually do become reality.

In section three, I talk about soliciting feedback: from friends and family, from the editor of your choice, and from the general public.

In section four, I talk about the publishing process.

And in section five, the final section, I talk about social media.  Not, how to open a Twitter account.  Or even, indeed, to tell you that you need one.  My goal, here, isn’t to insult your intelligence.  Rather, my goal is to help you use the tools at your disposal—Twitter, Facebook, your blog—to promote yourself successfully.  All too many writers, at every stage of the writing game, set up the social media platform of their dreams and immediately start filling it with tweets and posts and tweets and posts…and don’t understand why they’ve suddenly alienated everybody.  Social media should work for you, and not against you.

So if you’re still with me, read on…

Read the full Introduction and the first chapter at pjfoxwrites.com now!