Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Book Review: Still Writing by Dani Shapiro

I rated it 5 out of 5 stars.

Overview: “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.

Review: After submitting my PitchWars entry, I have been a bundle of nerves. I don't do well with anxiety at all. In attempt to distract myself, I do what I do best: get lost in books. Fortunately for me, I picked up Still Writing and I am glad I did. If you are a writer, or someone attempting to create a creative life, this book is for you. Full of wisdom and empathy, I connected with Shapiro on both a creative and personal level. If you choose to read this, her insights will open your eyes to the relationship you have with your own creative outlet and inspire you to keep at it. For any aspiring writer, this book is a must for your toolbox.

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