Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Writing Resources: Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life

As I continue my series on writing resources, I chose a humorous book that presents a lot of information in an entertaining format 
Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life.
The Peanuts comic strip, written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz, ran from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000 (the day after Schulz's death), and continued in re-runs even longer. The strip is considered one of the most popular and influential in the history of comic strips.

Many writers, (my hand is raised), consider Snoopy their favorite character from the strip. We’ve all seen him atop his doghouse, banging out stories on a manual typewriter, usually beginning "It was a dark and stormy night.” But, like many of us, Snoopy has his publishing woes.  (No wonder I relate so well to him.)

In Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life, (edited by Monte Schulz and Barnaby Conrad), 30 famous writers and entertainers write short essays on their favorite Charles Schulz “Snoopy at the Typewriter" strip. Based on the author’s own experiences, these short pep talks, amusing anecdotes, and witty but wise offers of advice focus on how the strip presents an aspect of the writing life—getting started, getting rejected, searching for new ideas, and more—everything that beginning and professional writers deal with on a daily basis.

Contributors to the book include writers as diverse as Ray Bradbury and Julia Child, William F. Buckley, Jr. and Danielle Steele, Sue Grafton and Budd Schulberg, to name a few. There’s even one by the Beagle himself!

For example, several strips illustrate Snoopy's trouble with Lucy, super critic. Author Sue Grafton's essay addresses the issue we writers face when having outsiders take a look at our work in progress.

One of the gems of Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life is the foreword by Charles Schulz's son, Monte. Schulz addresses the writing life and how Snoopy's experience - his tenacity and resilience - can inspire us all.

This writing reference tool contains close to 200 pages of the beloved Peanuts comic strips, all related to writing and getting published. So, no matter what your writing experience, you can take something away from this humorous look at the writing life.


©2011 Pamela D. Williams


  1. I love Snoopy! I love comics! They are my number one reason for getting the sunday paper! :)

  2. How perfect and true - sometimes, all we can do is take the humorous approach :)

  3. I will need to look into this book! Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Snoopy is a comfort when dealing with rejection! He brings a smile to my face and encourages me to try and try again!