Book Review

Book Review: The Flying Nun, A Light Bulb Moment and Me

I recently completed the book titled "The Flying Nun, A Light Bulb Moment and Me: 40 Years Making Money As A Freelance Writer " by John Riddle.

This book is a treasure trove of invaluable insights that any working or aspiring writer will find indispensable.

Authored by John Riddle, a seasoned freelance writer with four decades of experience, the book offers a profound perspective on the evolution of writing as a profession from his earliest days to the present.

John Riddle's mentoring relationship with Michelle Medlock Adams, an accomplished author with over 90 published books and 4 million copies sold, underscores his expertise. His encouragement has guided numerous individuals toward embracing writing as a viable career option.

His writing style is engaging and infused with wit. Additionally, John Riddle's affinity for Winnie, The British Bulldog, adds a charming touch to his narrative.

The book, despite being concise at less than 80 pages, or roughly an hour of reading time, holds the power to elevate one's writing journey from novice to intermediate or from intermediate to professional.

Even established professionals will glean fresh perspectives on writing as a career.

Here, I've summarized some key takeaways from the book that resonated with me:

Book Review

1. Acknowledging Our Identity as Writers: One of the book's central messages is the significance of embracing our identity as writers. Accepting ourselves as writers who craft stories about our passions and interests is a pivotal step in the journey. By doing so, we set the stage for positive affirmations and growth.

2. A Wealth of Writing Opportunities: The book generously provides a compilation of websites where writers can source freelance assignments. Armed with this list, readers will possess a ready-made resource to explore a multitude of writing opportunities that they might not have considered before.

3. Unleashing Creativity in Storytelling: The book challenges the notion of lacking ideas to write about. It urges writers to view every moment as a unique story waiting to be told. The encouragement to extract narratives from everyday experiences empowers writers to overcome creative blocks.

4. Harnessing Resources for Quotes and Anecdotes: For those grappling with the search for quotes or personal anecdotes, the book introduces valuable websites that simplify this process. John Riddle shares how he effortlessly accesses inspiring quotes during his writing process. These resources become invaluable tools for emerging writers.

5. Breaking Genre Barriers: Addressing the common concern of genre constraints, the book emphasizes that writing is a universal act. It illustrates that a compelling story with a resonating message can transcend genre boundaries. The message: writers are storytellers, regardless of the subject matter.

6. Navigating Rejections and Perspectives:
The book champions the art of handling rejection. It underscores the idea that rejections hold potential for innovation and creativity. 

How John Riddle waited and followed up for 20 years for a story he sent for publishing is truly an inspiring way of dealing the rejection or accepting the neutral responses. I think this is the main difference between a pro writer and a novice. A novice is worried and half-hearted about the sacrifice, and at the same time, a pro has got an innovative idea to write about on the rejection.

Sharing his own experiences, John Riddle highlights the transformation of rejection into a springboard for new ideas—a trait that distinguishes professional writers from novices. 

7. The Challenges and Rewards of Writing:
The book candidly presents writing as a rewarding yet demanding profession. It acknowledges that consistent improvement is essential and that resilience is key to thriving. Those who embrace the challenges will ultimately reap the rewards.

You May Like; Book Review: Deep Work By Cal Newport


The book by john Riddle has been an enlightening read.

As an avid reader, I'm continually inspired by books, each offering unique lessons. While it's impossible to consume all literature, even a handful of well-chosen books can propel us toward growth and mastery in our chosen fields. This book has certainly enriched my perspective on writing as a career and offers actionable insights that can lead to personal and professional growth. 

To extract the full benefit from its wisdom, reading, learning, and diligently applying the knowledge with unwavering effort is key. I encourage you to experience the book's teachings firsthand and share your thoughts and experiences. The transformative journey awaits.