Book Recommendations: Write Within Yourself and Fearless Writing by William Kenower

Book Recommendations

Two books written by William Kenower have made a lasting impression on my writing life. Today I want to share those books with you. The books are titled Write Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion and Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write with Confidence.

Write Within Yourself

When William Kenower wrote Write Within Yourself, he didn’t intend for it as a book on writing. His purpose was to write a companion for the author, the writer seeking direction in a most important arena–“what it takes to write the book you most want to write.”

Kenower is a man committed to many things, one of which is finding that direction to take you where you want to go. In the case of a writer wanting to write that book, the writer needs to understand “what it takes to lead the life you most want to live.”

Collected within the covers of this book are essays and stories from the author’s life which help remind the reader he/she has always known where he/she wants to go. But knowing is not all there is to getting there.

“If my life has taught me anything, it is that there is neither such a thing as too far from myself nor such a thing as too close. The door to our heart remains ever open to our attention, and once within it, we can travel as deeply as we wish, that well-being the only channel through which life is ever known.”

— Write Within Yourself by William Kenower, p. 10

This is a book a writer will want to keep handy for ready reference. Kenower’s life lessons and stories should ring true with almost every writer.

Fearless Writing

Kenower’s subtitle for Fearless Writing is How to Create Boldly and Write with Confidence. What author wouldn’t want to know more about boldness and confidence? The subtitle is what drew me to this book. Well, that and knowing William Kenower wrote it.

Recently, I was privileged to not only hear Kenower talk about writing fearlessly but also had the opportunity to attend a half-day workshop the next morning. Like his writing style, Kenower is an authentic personality with a great sense of humor sprinkled throughout presentations.

Don’t be fooled by those characteristics, however. His primary goal in life is to help other writers learn from his writing life’s journey.

Whether you are a beginning writer or a veteran with years of experience, there is much to be gained from reading Fearless Writing. Kenower defines fearlessness as “that elusive blend of self-acceptance, confidence, and curiosity. It is the defining quality he believes sets apart those who find fulfillment and success.

On the back cover, I love this quote from David Laskin, author of The Children’s Blizzard and The Family:

“William Kenower is as charismatic on the page as he is in person, and in Fearless Writing he has distilled his wisdom down to its electrifying essence. This is a book that any writer will cherish and learn from.”

My favorite quote from the book is:

“You will find your confidence and begin to write fearlessly the moment you stop caring about what anyone else thinks.”

— Fearless Writing by William Kenower, p. 10

These words have made a difference in how I face the page or computer screen each day. I believe this book will have a great impact on any writer who reads it.


About William Kenower:

William Kenower is the editor in chief of Author magazine, a sought-after speaker and teacher, and the author of the books recommended above. He’s been published in the New York Times and Edible Seattle, and was a featured blogger on the Huffington Post. His video interviews with hundreds of writers from Nora Ephron to Amy Tan to William Gibson, are widely considered the best of their kind on the Internet. He also hosts the online radio program Author2Author, where every week he and a different guest discuss the books we write and the lives we lead.

Kenower’s books are available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound. You may connect with him via his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Memoir Writers Resources Series | Write Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion by William Kenower

This post continues a series begun over a year ago, which has an infinite number of parts. Therefore, there is no “Part 1 of a #;” it will simply continue until the well dries up. The lag time since the last post resulted from personal issues which were unavoidable. A list of all posts in the series to date are found here.


Have you ever wished for a book about writing that isn’t a how-to guide? One that is something like a good friend or companion? This is exactly what William Kenower has written in his collection of essays on writing, Write Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion.

Despite inclusion in my memoir writers resources series, this collection is directed at and designed for any writer, any genre.

Sometime during the last year I heard Bill Kenower speak to the membership of Willamette Writers in Portland. Kenower had driven from Seattle to Portland for our 7pm meeting, and he made us all comfortable from the start by sharing his parking experience in downtown Portland as masses left work. Immediately he had won us over. 

As editor-in-chief of Author magazine, Kenower knows a lot about writing. He writes a daily blog focused on the intersection of writing and life. He also interacts with writers in preparation for frequent interviews and/or panel discussions on his pod casts and videos. Writing is something he is passionate about and his enthusiasm for the subject is contagious.

That passion and enthusiasm is clear in the essays included in Write Within Yourself. Some of my favorite, must remember passages are:

A great book is a work of love–not craft, not intelligence, not discipline, but love. And that love expresses itself in this question asked and answered over and over again: What do I most want to say?

* * *

The more I wrote, the more I understood that anything–a rainy day, a shower, a bad night’s sleep–led to what had always interested me most, the intersection of creativity and everyday life.

* * *

When you spend a workday out of the flow of your story, you must choose kindness and compassion–that is the only way back into the flow of the story. You have written before; you will write again. … You will feel relief when it goes well and despair when it doesn’t. Love and compassion are your only tools when the day’s work brings you nothing. Writers, in this way, must learn above all others to love their enemy, because a writer’s only enemy is himself.

I hope you will at least visit Bill Kenower’s site and Author magazine (link available at his site). I find his writing a great comfort whether or not all is going well with my writing. I firmly believe you would too.

About William Kenower:

William Kenower is the author of Write Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion, and is the Editor-in-Chief of Author magazine, an online magazine for writers and dedicated readers. He writes a popular daily blog for the magazine about the intersection of writing and our daily lives, and has interviewed hundreds of writers of every genre. He also hosts the online radio program Author2Author where every week he and a different guest discuss the books we write and the lives we lead.