Buy Shawn Smucker’s “Building a Life Out of Words” here

Who Is Shawn Smucker?

Shawn blogs (almost) daily at He is currently traveling the country for four months with his wife and four children in a big, blue bus named Willie, looking for service opportunities as well as other writers to meet up with. You can find him on Facebook (Shawn Smucker, Writer) and Twitter (@shawnsmucker).

What does CTJ have to do with this book? 

With some input from Becki Johnston, I designed the cover for this book. Buy it, or be forced to build life out of other things, like bricks. Or wood. Or really, anything that is functionally sturdier than words, which includes pretty much everything. 

Here is where I pull text directly from Shawn’s page:

There are times when life doesn’t turn out as you expected. Then there are times when life punches you in the gut, takes your wallet, and leaves you hanging upside down by your toenails.

2009 was one of those times for me (the gut-punching kind). My construction business faltered after the housing bubble burst, and my wife and I found ourselves in $50,000 worth of debt. Then came the toughest decision of our young lives: we left the community we loved and moved into my parents’ basement in search of a simpler life.

Part of the change included laying aside my aspirations for wealth and taking up the vocation of my dreams: I would try to make money writing full time. This is the story of my first year doing exactly that.

I would try to build a life out of words.

Also included in the book are nine essays from folks who make money writing – they share unique tips on how to find writing work and how to improve your craft. Contributors include Andi Cumbo, Bryan Allain, Ed Cyzewski, Jason Boyett, Jeff Goins, Jennifer Luitwieler, Ken Mueller, Kristin Tennant, and Stacy Barton.

But I made the cover art. Which is why you should buy it.  

If you do not buy it (and this is a threat), below is what will happen to Shawn’s family nest egg. Either that, or the picture is merely confirmation that I did indeed use a real egg in the process of creating the cover. I ate it, too (the egg, not the cover).

Read about the creative process here.

Buy the book here. 

Buy the book. Period.