Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Review of Still Writing: The Pleasures and Perils of a Creative Life By Dani Shapiro

Description (from NetGalley)

Everything I know about life, I learned from the daily practice of sitting down to write.”

From the best-selling author of Devotion and Slow Motion comes a witty, heartfelt, and practical look at the exhilarating and challenging process of storytelling. At once a memoir, meditation on the artistic process, and advice on craft, Still Writing is an intimate and eloquent companion to living a creative life. 

Through a blend of deeply personal stories about what formed her as a writer, tales from other authors, and a searching look at her own creative process, Shapiro offers her gift to writers everywhere: an elegant guide of hard-won wisdom and advice for staying the course. "“The writer’s life requires courage, patience, empathy, openness. It requires the ability to be alone with oneself. Gentle with oneself. To be disciplined, and at the same time, take risks.” Writers —and anyone with an artistic temperament —will find inspiration and comfort in these pages. Offering lessons learned over twenty years of teaching and writing, Shapiro brings her own revealing insights to weave an indispensable almanac for modern writers.

Like Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, Virginia Woolf’s A Writer’s Diary, and Stephen King’s On Writing, Dani Shapiro’s Still Writing is a lodestar for aspiring scribes and an eloquent memoir of the writing life.

My Review

I loved this book.

Written in a conversational tone, this book is not so much about the craft of writing, but one writer's thought's and feelings about the writing life; what it takes, and what it gives back. Not only is this book full of inspiration, it made me feel connected to a wider community of writer's by showing we all share the same fears and doubts, and the same inexplicable need to write. While reading I was torn between wanting to take my time over it so it wouldn't be over too quickly and being unable to put it down. I can see myself turning to this book again and again.

I would highly recommend 'Still Writing' to all writer's, but especially to fans of 'Writing Down the Bones' by Natalie Goldburg and 'Bird by Bird' by Anne Lamott.

I give Still Writing 5 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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