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Yes I feel immense pride and satisfaction because it is a lovely book — the stories are absolutely compelling — and the book itself is a beautiful object. These twelve writers clearly impressed you greatly. What can other writers learn from them?

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But equally I found them to be warm and hospitable and easy to be with. What might other writers learn from them? The role of persistence and keeping on even when there are knock-backs and disappointments. These authors are seasoned in the art of rallying after a setback and there is much we can learn from them about their techniques and processes.

What can those working in the broader creative sector learn from them? These authors demonstrate the value of perseverance and self-discipline and the importance of holding onto self-belief in the pursuit of the artistic practice. There is a sense in these accounts of the writer as worker going daily to the desk to draft and craft tens of thousands of words, not waiting for inspiration to strike, but doing it day in and day out until the job is done.

I also noted that they are skillful strategists, actively planning ahead, searching for the next idea that will lead to another book and publishing contract. Of course they are more than writers. Contact us Newsletter Publish with us.

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The Writing Life

About the author. Deborah Shepard is an author, teacher of memoir, oral historian and film and art historian.

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Read More. It is about work. In many instances Dillard compares writing to the art and act of painting. That is, with a painting, you only see the finished product, and the process of painting itself covers up any drafting.

Aiming Past your Target: A Review of Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life | Newfound

Sketches can be made separately of course, but when one paints, all the beginning marks are covered up. Why do authors so choose to instill in their works such an amount of power and privilege, when the same words that make up their story are those used by men and women every day?

In one chapter, Dillard mentions Thoreau and his method of catching bees. I could not, nor would I so attempt to, reproduce her artful story on bees, so please check out this chapter for the wonderful description. On the subject of each chapter, Dillard begins most metaphorically and really speaks to the act of writing in general, without a specific memory or context.

She introduces many literature greats, and quotes as well, which help to portray her writing style and voice. Each of the subsequent chapters recollects instances in which she is writing and moments of her own life are interwoven.

All writers need to thrive: craft, business, personal finance, and joy.

This particular sentiment rings true in my mind, for my own experiences, as I remember quite clearly knowing the moment I wanted to write, and from then on thinking about the world as if I would one day have to explain it to a deaf, blind, and mute fellow. I will not spoil the episode, but I do recommend ruminating upon the descriptions there. Another scene which I truly favor describes the author splitting wood, and her attempts and approaches to such a physically demanding job.