Saturday, October 4, 2014

Book Notes: Dancing on the Head of a Pen

by Robert Benson

My Favorite Quotes:

"Most of the time, writing a book more closely resembles digging a ditch than participating in some transcendent creative experience. Who in the world needs another book anyway? There are thousands of good ones already, and some of the best ones have not been read by very many people at all... Last week while reading Buechner, I realized that if I wanted to make a contribution to the literary world, I should do his laundry and mow his grass so he would have more time to write."

"They push me to tell the truth, the hard truth about my life, as someone may be dying to hear it."

"The spiritual life is not so much about answers as it is about better questions. Writing can be the same."

Sylvia Plath, in a letter to a friend, passed on the quiet news of the weekend: “We stayed at home to write, to consolidate our outstretched selves.”

What I Thought:

This is not a book about how to write; the author assumes that you already possess the necessary skills. Instead, it is a heartening talk from an accomplished author to a newbie with a dream. He shares about his life as a writer in an honest and humorous way. I love his hat illustration for roles of the writer: artist, editor, and business man or woman.

His main point is that each of us have to find our own way, but there is hard, consistent work involved. To be published, the book does not have to be a masterpiece, but it does have to get written. Six hundred words a day, perspective, and a strong connection to the outside world are some of the things that work for him. If I ever get published, I will thank him for the encouragement.

And his book lists in the back are fantastic.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest (and they hope insightful) review.

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