If only it were as easy for most writers as it was for Stendhal. The truth about the act of writing is much more varied, even violent. In fact, there seem to be as many contradictory admonitions about how to go about doing it as there are writers themselves. With that in mind, writer Sophy Burnham has collected the thoughts of some of the greatest ...
If only it were as easy for most writers as it was for Stendhal. The truth about the act of writing is much more varied, even violent. In fact, there seem to be as many contradictory admonitions about how to go about doing it as there are writers themselves. With that in mind, writer Sophy Burnham has collected the thoughts of some of the greatest writers and laced them with her own observations and experiences of the writer's life. With an emphasis on the emotions that writing wrings from those who practice it, Burnham writes about beginning a work prematurely, the ecstasy when the writing is really flowing, the crash that can follow the flight - and how to pick yourself up and continue. Here you will find the motto Zola kept in his workroom ("No day without lines"), where Agatha Christie plotted her books (in the bathtub eating apples), and what James Thurber's wife replied when a dinner guest observed a strange expression on her husband's face ("Don't be concerned. He's only writing"). Most of all, you will be reassured, enlightened, and inspired to learn that, in your own writing struggles, you are not alone.
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Publishers Weekly, 1994-09-19 Call it emotional rescue, this slight but useful book was compiled while Burnham (A Book of Angels) was writing steadily with no reward or promise of acknowledgment. Thus, on facing pages, she offers quotes about the struggle by published authors, then her own meditations and anecdotes about the strains of the writing life. While longer books (Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird) discuss both emotion and craft, Burnham covers the appropriate bases for the anxious, would-be artist: the trauma of beginning, the search for a place to create, the need to free-fall into fiction. No loneliness, she observes trenchantly, matches that reached when you are continually ``available to others at the expense of your inner voice.'' And she recalls, when she once felt like a failure, meeting an artist who reminded her we can ``work with all our hearts'' but cannot ask for recognition. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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