Gerald M. Weinberg: Writer  -  Consultant

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Weinberg on Writing

The Fieldstone Method

     ISBN: 0-932633-65-X    200 pages   softcover 

     Dorset House Publishing

     (translated into Japanese, Korean)

Finalist for the Jolt Product Excellence Awards

Finalist for the Best Books Awards, Writing/Publishing Category, USA Book News.

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Paper version is on Amazon

"Jerry Weinberg's lessons in writing are smart, funny, memorable, wise, engaging . . . and, most important, it is all stuff that works, it's practical. What more would you want?"

  1. -Howie Becker, author of Writing for Social Scientists.

"Don't write your book -- build it with Weinberg's Fieldstone Method. Keep the project moving by breaking the project into easy-to-attack chunks; gather your ideas one at a time. Then stack them as you would stones in a wall." -- Dan Poynter, author of Writing Nonfiction and The Self-Publishing Manual

"It wasn't until I participated in one of Jerry Weinberg's writing workshops that I was able to take my writing to the next level. . . .

"I'm proof these techniques work. I've published three books, over 100 articles, and am working on my next few books. Next few books, you ask? Yes. One of the techniques Jerry suggests is that you have many fieldstones, chunks of work in progress. In progress may mean you've written two words. It may mean you've written several chapter-like things. It may mean you've written 50 words. Fieldstones allow you to make progress on any piece of work, which can allow you to finish more writing projects than you could imagine.

"If you want to start your writing career, or if you want to write better, or if you want to revitalize your writing, buy this book. " -- Johanna Rothman, author of Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds

"Part memoir, part how-to, Weinberg on Writing dispenses with the mysteries and misconceptions of craft and shows any writer how -- and how not to -- hone their skills. Weinberg's method of finding fieldstones with which to build your writing strikes me as one of the more effective metaphors for the writing craft I've ever seen. Weinberg also rightly places the emphasis on writing about what matters to you rather than perpetrating the old saw, 'Write what you know.' Writers of any stripe will go far following Weinberg's method." -- Jennifer Lawler, author of Dojo Wisdom for Writers

"Jerry Weinberg's lessons in writing are smart, funny, memorable, wise, engaging . . . and, most important, it is all stuff that works, it's practical. What more would you want?" -- Howard S. Becker, author of Writing for Social Scientists

"I suppose the strongest praise of a how-to writing book would be to say it's changed the way I intend to organize and write my next book. And it's true! I'm now beginning to gather information and think about the structure of my next project, and I'm going to adopt Jerry's Fieldstone Method. I think Jerry has made my writing life easier. This book is a gift to writers at all levels from a true pro with sterling credentials." -- Penny Raife Durant

award-winning author of nine children's books, including When Heroes Die and Sniffles, Sneezes, Hiccups and Coughs

"Weinberg on Writing is a strange little gem: part writer's guide, part personal philosophy, and part autobiography. As such, it has something to offer for writers of non-fiction and fiction alike -- and would also be a good read for anyone who has ever wondered where writers get their ideas." -- Jane Lindskold, author of The Firekeeper Saga

"After 40 plus years of writing books articles and web postings, I finally understand what's been going on. Jerry Weinberg has encapsulated in this book why I love writing. I guess I've always followed his first commandment: Never attempt to write something you don't care about.

"Sometimes it's hard, but as he pointed out that's usually because I'm trying to write the wrong thing. Sometimes I feel self-conscious throwing myself into my writing, but I'm not going to do that any more.

"Thanks Jerry!" -- David C. Hay, author of Data Model Patterns

"Two friends and I argued over the pains of writing while watching a magnificent sunset over the Pacific in Ocean Beach, San Diego. . . .

'"I read this book by Gerald Weinberg,' I replied, 'in which he described convincingly how efficient it is to gather fieldstones throughout life (snippets of anything that carry energy for you) and later use them as needed in your writing.'

'"Though I do notice fieldstones, I never remember them later,' Patrick complained, even as I was capturing that interaction -- admittedly the first time ever I had prepared for such event. . . .

"At that time, I had no idea how I would use that dialogue until four days later I decided to write a review on Weinberg's book. I decided to use that very fieldstone to capture the reader's attention regarding fieldstones. Did it work? I find Weinberg's method so convincing and practical

. . . invest in this book, and I bet it will W.O.W. you!" -- Leo H. Deloas, posted on

"One of the best lines of Weinberg on Writing, and one every writer should commit to memory is, 'I may run out of ideas, but I'll never run out of new combinations of ideas.' In demystifying the mysterious process of writing through the consistent metaphoric grappling hook of 'fieldstones' as ideas which float in and out of our consciousness, Weinberg has written a wise and warm book on overcoming the perils of trying to write."

-- Gabriele Rico, author of Writing the Natural Way

"Weinberg on Writing is a combination of tales from Jerry Weinberg's long writing career and hands-on exercises. I particularly resonated with the tale he tells in the beginning, about how writing classes in school almost killed his desire to write. School almost did that for me too. Jerry's method is different. Collect what gives you energy, play with your collection, organize when you're ready.

"If you have an interest in writing, want to try another style, or find your fun back doing it, I find Weinberg on Writing worth checking out." -- Willem van den Ende works as programmer/trainer/coach, writes a weblog. Would like to write more.

"If you're thinking about writing a book, Jerry Weinberg, author of more than 40 books and 400 articles, has just published an entertaining reference for writers, Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method. It's a great resource for new and veteran authors." -- Michael McLaughlin, Author, Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants

"In his new book, acclaimed consultant, teacher, and author Jerry Weinberg introduces his approach to writing called The Fieldstone Method. This is not a book about grammar or style, but about *getting things written* -- and cutting yourself some slack in the process. In today's world of blogging and "agile publishing," Weinberg's evolutionary, non-linear method is especially welcome. This excerpt explains how Fieldstoning can break the cycle of writer's block." -- Daniel Reed, developer.*

"A frequent pastime for all writers and aspiring writers is to read books of advice on how to write. . . . Weinberg has produced 30-plus books and 100s of articles over his career. He has also combined a career that started out dealing with technology and transformed to dealing with organizations and the behavior of the people in them. That mixture leads to a view about the practice of writing that is among the most actionable and most aligned with the world I find myself in than anything I have yet encountered. Weinberg is not concerned with the mechanics of writing or particularly with the low-level details. Instead, his focus is on how to integrate the process of writing into the rest of your daily world in a way that makes each better. -- Jim McGee, consultant and author of the weblog McGee's Musings

". . . this is a fun, interesting book which takes a perspective which is unusual and stimulating. . . . 'The Fieldstone Method starts with gathering, not with organizing.' This is, in a nutshell, what makes the concepts in this book different from most other books on writing." -- Maggie Ball, The Compulsive Reader

"Building a fieldstone structure requires gathering the right stones in a step-by-step process, as fieldstones vary in size, color, texture, shape and density. Similarly, writing a book requires the gathering of ideas or as Weinberg succinctly reminds us, "snatches of writing, photos, diagrams, quotations, pictures, and references that you find interesting. . . ."

"Weinberg has written a clever writing manual. On one level it is highly readable and on another it is packed with excellent insights into how to effectively perfect the writing process with less pain and much more enjoyment." -- Norm Goldman. Editor,

". . . an informed and informative instructional reference to the process and skill of effective writing. Weinberg introduces the reader to forty-four exercises and offers many insightful tactics. Weinberg On Writing is an excellent detailing of all the necessary steps to be taken amidst the attempts and struggles of writing a book. Weinberg enlightens the readers to many original and particular strategies rarely recognized or pursued. . . . very strongly recommended to all aspiring authors particularly oriented or favoring the presence of nature in their writing." -- Diane Donovan, Editor, Bookwatch

"Weinberg on Writing describes the actual process a real person goes about when coming up with ideas for a piece, how he organizes those ideas, and little things like transitions and word choice. It will be especially helpful with people trying to get published in a magazine for the first time or people who produce technical documentation for a living.

". . . I've never read a book so specific, down-to-earth, and approachable about the writing process. Most of what I have learned about writing was learned by finding *bad* writing, learning the symptoms, and trying to avoid them. This book actually provides positive, specific steps to improve the quality of your writing, along with exercises. . . .

"As for the actual process of writing, this book is far and away better than anything else I have ever read. Five Stars. Buy it today." -- Matt Heusser, Software Developer

"As a writer, I was very excited about the prospect of learning from Weinberg himself his thoughts on the writing process. I was not disappointed. This book set me free as a writer. The fieldstone approach gave me the freedom to use many of the articles, quips, replies to e-mail questions, and other smaller writings as a basis for books. The basis of the approach is that instead of working from an outline or trying to write something from beginning to end, you approach the project like someone building a structure from natural stones. . . .

"I firmly believe that one of the best and fastest roads to success for anyone is to write well. The better you write, the more exposure and credibility you get. I recommend this book to anyone who writes, who may aspire to write and also to those that are intimidated by the thought of writing." -- Randy Rice, posted on

"It's the closest thing to being in a Weinberg workshop . . .

"I wonder how different my writing life would have been if my freshman English teacher in college had had access to Jerry's book as a text. I can't answer that question, but I can say that my writing life has been changed by Jerry in person and by Weinberg on Writing, for the better in each case!" -- SuZ Garcia, posted on

"This is THE book on writing. Short and sweet: in a thin paperback, Weinberg covers the entire spectrum from mechanics of organizing paragraphs to how to gather and integrate your ideas. Weinberg comes from the software field, but knows how to write a book I couldn't put down. It has automatically become one of my "toolkit" books -- one of a few I'll keep on my shelf to refer to regularly., -- T. Harris, posted on,

"You don't just work on one thing. You work on many different things and there are many different kinds of activities you can do when you 'slow down.'"

"I've taken much of his book to heart . . . Let this book work its magic on you. The changes seem obvious and subtle. However, they've seemed to work well for me." -- Brett L. Schuchert. posted on,

". . . a thought-provoking book about how to write using the metaphor of building a fieldstone wall. Jerry Weinberg addresses the problem of writer's block by showing how metaphorical stones can be continually collected. . . . The process of collecting stones typically contributes to ongoing work on a number of potential finished books, articles, reports or even blog entries. . . . Of the many lessons in this book worth heeding my favourite is Jerry's first: "Never attempt to write something you don't care about". After all, a fine stone wall is built by a master craftsman with passion. Writing should be similar." -- Keith Pitty, posted on The SquizLog

So, are you ready to get your copy and start writing, so you can join all these successful writers?