Review of a Writing Handbook {Spilling Ink}

Writing is hard.

That’s the truth. Though it may be fun, it may be rewarding, you may love it more than you love anything else, it’s still really, really hard.

For starters, have you ever had writer’s block? Empty lines or a b l i n k i n g cursor on a blank page is enough to make me want to scream. Then there are the thoughts that creep into your head- is my writing really any good? is it possible that I could ever even be published? And that’s just the beginning! When it comes to writing, I’ll take all the help I can get.

A few years ago, I was in a school writing club and was given three writing handbooks- Spilling InkRip the Page!, and Seize the Story. Today I’m going to be reviewing Spilling Ink because I found it very helpful and entertaining. It’s my hope that it can help you, too. 🙂

Title: Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook Authors: Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter Page Count: 270

In the past, I have not liked writing handbooks.

It’s not that they’re bad– no, definitely not bad. It’s just that I’ve felt as if they give you criteria, and then say “if you can check off these boxes, you have yourself a story.” If only it were that easy! As far as my experience goes, writing is much harder than that. So when I began to read Spilling Ink, I was skeptical. But I found a truth in it that made it my favorite writing handbook I’ve ever read.

Spilling Ink fully accepts the fact that writing is hard.

It doesn’t claim to show you the “easy” way to write a story, it instead guides you on your journey. It doesn’t tell you the right or wrong way to put words on the page, it gives tips and suggestions on ways to improve. The creative freedom offered by Spilling Ink is a breath of fresh air.

Another aspect of Spilling Ink that I love is the personality behind the authors. Both Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter are successful authors, and it’s truly enjoyable to read their advice in the form of a handbook. Judging by the personalities portrayed through Spilling Ink, I’d love to meet and talk with them! 😉 Part of what made me enjoy their book so much were simply their friendly, warm, and funny personalities.

Next, I know I am going to benefit from the advice Spilling Ink provides. I’ve sticky noted so many parts of my copy- parts where I thought, “Oh, I’ll definitely be using that,” or, “this is one to remember.” (I actually ended up marking like every other page…)

I’m definitely giving Spilling Ink a well-deserved 5 stars, as you probably could guess by the glowing review above! 😄


Overall, Spilling Ink makes me excited about writing. After reading it, I feel like I can tackle a story. It won’t be easy, it will never be easy, but I now have the motivation to begin. And that’s what it’s really all about: being excited about your story.

I hope you enjoyed this post! 🙂 I’m passionate about this topic, so this post was especially fun to write. Have you read Spilling Ink, or other writing handbooks? What are your opinions? I’d love to chat with you in the comments!


P.S. If you want more writing handbook recommendations or Spilling Ink isn’t your style, then check out the other two I linked at the top of this post and maybe you’ll like them.

P.P.S. I JUST REACHED 30 FOLLOWERS! THANK YOU SO MUCH to all of my wonderful followers! Y’all have definitely made me so happy. 🙂

3 thoughts on “Review of a Writing Handbook {Spilling Ink}

  1. Ah! I need to check this out! Honestly, I’ve been so put off by writing handbooks since university, especially my fiction writing course!! It’s like you said, it felt like they were setting such high standards, a checklist I felt like never sat right whenever I was giving writing a go. I’m excited that you’ve mentioned this, now I have to look it up! Thank you.

    xx jan

    Liked by 1 person

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