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I wrote the last line of my first book, Torch, and then spent an hour crying while lying on a cool tile floor in a house on a hot Brazilian island. After I finished my second book, Wild, I walked alone for miles under a clear blue sky on an empty road in the Oregon Outback. I sat bundled in my coat on a cold patio at midnight staring up at the endless December stars after completing my third book, Tiny Beautiful Things. There are only a handful of other days in my life--my wedding, the births of my children--that I remember as vividly as those solitary days on which I finished my books. The settings and situations were different, but the feeling was the same: an overwhelming mix of joy and gratitude, humility and relief, pride and wonder. After much labor, I'd made this thing. A book. Though it wasn't technically that yet.
The real book came later--after more work, but this time it involved various others, including agents, publishers, editors, designers, and publicists, all of whose jobs are necessary but sometimes indecipherable to me. They're the ones who transformed the thousands of words I'd privately and carefully conjured into something that could be shared with other people. "I wrote this!" I exclaimed in amazement when I first held each actual, physical book in my hands. I wasn't amazed that it existed; I was amazed by what its existence meant: that it no longer belonged to me.
Two months before Wild was published I stood on a Mexican beach at sunset with my family assisting dozens of baby turtles on their stumbling journey across the sand, then watching as they disappeared into the sea. The junction between writer and author is a bit like that. In one role total vigilance is necessary; in the other, there's nothing to do but hope for the best. A book, like those newborn turtles, will ride whatever wave takes it.
It's deeply rewarding to me when I learn that something I wrote moved or inspired or entertained someone; and it's crushing to hear that my writing bored or annoyed or enraged another. But an author has to stand back from both the praise and the criticism once a book is out in the world. The story I chose to write in Wild for no other reason than I felt driven to belongs to those who read it, not me. And yet I'll never forget what it once was, long before I could even imagine how gloriously it would someday be swept away from me.
I read this for my book club. I am a 20 something, working with senior citizens. Though I enjoyed the book, there were way too many, "f bombs" for my liking.Published 4 hours ago by Amazon Customer
Read from May 02 to 05, 2015
I just recently watched the movie "Wild." I have actually watched the movie several times now. Read more
Walk over 1100 miles from Mexico to Washington... Bears snakes hippies and rapist hunters... Then go out for ice cream...Published 6 hours ago by Aaron Hynds
A bit repetitious but given the story line not too surprising. She is a good writer. I'll try to see the movie because the scenery must be marvelous.Published 7 hours ago by james sperber
i really enjoyed reading this book. Strayed writes in simple and direct language but still in a smart and intelligent way. It is a "quick read" but rich and meaningful.Published 8 hours ago by Linda
Great read. It's well written, and the plot moves well. It is at times very funny, very sad, but mostly very touching. Read morePublished 10 hours ago by Starla Jury
Amazingly written. Highly recommend if you are looking for something "real" and inspirational.Published 10 hours ago by Robin Nelson
The book was good reading, b was a little drawn out with her personal problems.Published 11 hours ago by Harold E. Schwartz