Book Review: A Stuttering Revolution
STAMMA volunteer John Russell reviews the new book 'A Stuttering revolution: Don't fix your stutter, fix your life' by Paul Gaskin.
The hands gripping both Ts of the word 'Stuttering' on the front page was the thing that drew my attention first to 'A Stuttering Revolution'. As well as the 'Don't fix your stutter, fix your life' tagline printed below, implying that stammering goes beyond speech.
That's the approach that Paul Gaskin, author of the new self-help book, advocates towards stammering, and over 205 pages he explains how it has worked for him, and how other people who stammer can benefit from it.
Gaskin has produced an informative, thought-provoking and motivational book, with part one focusing on his own experiences as a person who stammers through school, college and work. It provides riveting reading. He talks about going through speech therapy as a child, his thoughts and beliefs about it and what led him to make the decision at age 17 to not continue with therapy after realising to himself "I don't need fixing, I just stuttered".
One of the main points Gaskin is keen to put across is that you are not defined by a stammer, citing the story of Joe Biden, current US President, who was told by his mother as a child that his stammer would not define him. She was right!
One of the main points Gaskin is keen to put across is that you are not defined by a stammer...
In part two, Gaskin describes his unique five-step process for helping people become "so much more than your stutter". It sets out methods for recording your progress and evaluating where you are.
Gaskin gives several examples of people who saw themselves as more than they were, who saw their true worth. Actor Jim Carrey, for example,
who, at the start of his career wrote out a cheque for a very substantial sum of money — ten years into the future. Talk about confidence and self-belief!
There is a nice balance to the book, with the author challenging the reader with the question "What is your desire to achieve the life that you want?". Later, Gaskin empowers the reader by saying "You are the builder and architect of your new life". I also enjoyed the story of the song 'Eye of the Tiger' from Rocky III and how he uses it as an analogy to be laser-focused on achieving a single goal.
Driven by his desire to help people, and based on what he's learnt from his own life experiences and what has helped him, Gaskin has produced an easy-to-follow self-help manual. There is a lovely mix of humour, analogies and questions that readers — including me — may not have considered before. I feel that reading this book might inspire people to delve in deep and find out more and stimulate their curiosity and motivation.
Gaskin shows the right mixture of empathy and a supportive/encouraging tone to help people be more than they can be. Some people who stammer think/believe that stammering is a 'speech problem'. After reading this book they will, I hope, realise that stammering doesn't define
who they are, but can act as a springboard towards achieving the life they want. Stammer or no stammer.
'A Stuttering revolution: Don't fix your stutter, fix your life' by Paul Gaskin and published by Practical Inspiration Publishing is out now. You can buy it on Kindle for 99p. Hurry, though, as this offer lasts until Tuesday 28th November.
You can read the story behind the book from the author himself. Read Paul's article 'My new book 'A Stuttering Revolution'.