Wishful thinking, or a wish come true?

Book Review: “Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want,” by Barbara Sher and Annie Gottlieb



My Rating: 5 Stars

This is the book that started it all for me – that is, my love of all things “self-improvement.”  Written in 1979, when I was eight years old, the book “Wishcraft” has sold over a million copies in more than a dozen translations.

Although it was clearly a hit – I still consider it a “cult following” kind of book because very few people I know have even heard of it.

First of all, they think I’m saying WITCHcraft – so that conversation gets kind of awkward. In any case, you can find thousands of cult-like followers of this book on the web. And I am a proud, card-carrying member of that cult.

This book, more than all the other ones I’ve read combined,  gave me a new outlook on my dreams, and it does so every single time I’ve read it.

I found it at a Half-Priced Book Store back in the early nineties when I was still in college. The day I bought it, I stayed up all night long reading it. I felt like I’d found the Holy Grail of dreams, and in a way, I did.

I’ve always been a daydreamer – and always will be – but the whole “follow through” part was my stumbling block. Oh, I can come up with a hundred fantastic ideas – but they remain just that, ideas. That is, unless I go back to this book and follow all the steps. Step, by step, by step – whatever dream or goal I’ve accomplished, I have done so because of this book.

Because of “Wishcraft,” I got my very first paid freelance writing assignment while still in college. It had been my dream for years to be a (paid) writer, and because of this book – I made it happen. And because of this book, I’m still a writer. Get this: I get PAID MONEY to sit at home and do what I love more than anything in the world!

Thank you, Barbara Sher.

If anyone knows me, they know that I’m a procrastinator, and I tend to be lazy – I’ll take a day on the couch reading a novel or biography over doing almost anything else. But this book takes you by the hand and leads you with baby steps, right to the completion of your goal.

It’s not hard, I assure you. I immediately zone out with any self-help book that looks too complicated, and I immediately get irritated with any that are too “fakey cheerful rah rah” – those just don’t do it for me. I’m all about positive thinking, but it has to be authentic – not cheesy and fake.

Now, back to the book. It is divided into four sections:


  • The Care and Feeding of Human Genius


  • Wishing


  • Crafting 1 – Plotting the Path to Your Goal


  • Crafting 2 – Moving and Shaking




The first two sections go over some material that you are probably already familiar with, for example:


  • Finding out who you really are
  • Finding your personal style (no, this does not mean clothing – though it can certainly be a part of it)
  • Finding out what your main goals are
  • Dealing with hardships and fear or anxiety during the dreaming and brainstorming phase.

The last two sections are the real heart of the book – helping you create uniquely tailored and very specific steps to reach your goal.

The only caveat I’d give about this book is that you have to be willing to get a notebook and actually DO the exercises and goal planning she recommends. Or, since it’s no longer 1979, open up a Word or Google doc and do it. Doesn’t matter – the point is, if you don’t like doing things like this, then this book will not help you.

If you have a dream that just won’t get out of your heart and mind no matter how hard you try, a dream that you think is silly, impractical, impossible – for whatever reason – do yourself a huge favor and get this book. It could change your mind, and your life.



Follow improve-o-matic on WordPress.com

Follow me on Twitter