I expected no surprises when I opened the cover of Amber Starfire's book, Week by Week. I've been following Starfire's blog since its inception, so I knew the material would be familiar. I placed my advance order for a copy anyway, in both paper and pixels, looking forward to having the prompts easily at hand for quick reference while journaling. The fact that I paid for material already available for free is a strong statement.
Starfire did a stellar job of packaging her web material, making it even more accessible to both new and veteran journalers. Her list of benefits of journaling should convince anyone to begin its practice or stick with it. Her brief outline of journaling basics is sufficient to orient novices and may offer a couple of ideas to experienced practitioners. Her explanation of how to use the prompts is helpful even for those familiar with them from the web.
Some people may choose to work their way through the book, sequentially addressing one prompt per day. While I am certain those people will develop incredible insight and wisdom, I freely admit I'm not one of them. My preferred journaling style is spontaneous freewriting, but when I become immersed in a challenging topic, prompts such as hers super-charge my inner journey. They are masterfully organized; it takes only seconds to find a relevant section, align a prompt with my purpose, and return to writing.
The book is a joy to behold. The soothing cover image invokes a meditative state. Page layout is elegant and readable, with impeccable grammar, punctuation and spelling. The small size adds to its portability. Most eBooks I've read, even those from major publishers, are rife with distracting spelling, spacing and other errors. This one is clean and beautiful. Starfire sets a high standard for those choosing to self-publish, and I hope others will follow in her footsteps.
Read an excerpt from this book.
Amber Lea Starfire is a teacher, freelance editor, and writer in Napa, California. Her passion is helping others tell their stories, make meaning of their lives, and access their inner wisdom and creativity through the act of writing. Visit her website.
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