What it is, is an easy to read, conversational style book highlighting many of the things that we think we know about writing or we do indeed know but then blithely forget or ignore. It focuses more on the bigger picture than the instructional details. It makes you question your current practices and look for ways to improve. I liked this about the book because it made me question myself and try to rationalise the things I did, as a writer and more importantly the things I didn't do.
I suspect the 100 Observations were very much an arbitrary number that Tarot came up with, as sounding adequate to put together as a book. I say this because there was considerable repetition whereby he would restate a previous point in a different way. No mind, though, it didn't matter to me as the points he made often deserved the exclamation mark of repetition. I did like the fact that Tarot never considered himself immune from his own advice. Several times he was more than willing to do the "mea culpa" and admit his own failures. That gave the whole book an air of authenticity that I particularly liked.
I would recommend this book to any writer starting out or thinking of starting out on this journey. For those of us in the mid-stage of our writing journey, it is an excellent reminder of the need to focus on what we do with our writing lives. One particular point that will stick long with me is the idea, repeated often by Tarot, that; "writers write, so go write". If you're not writing, then you're not a writer. Simple really, but something I do tend to lose sight of in the hurly-burly world of trying to make it in this crazy world of writing.
This book will never be your reference guide on how to become a better writer, that's not it's purpose, I don't believe. Its purpose is to remind us why we do what we do, often for so little financial reward. As Tarot said in the book, the writing should be the reward, the money (if there is any) the bonus.
For me, as a writer, this was right place, right time, to read this little gem and for that reason alone I happily give 100 Observations on Writing, the full five-star treatment. Perfect timing for this writer/reviewer Mr Tarot. Cheers!