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Writing Begins with the Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice Paperback – September 11, 2007


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Writing Begins with the Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice + The Writing Warrior: Discovering the Courage to Free Your True Voice + Writing from the Senses: 59 Exercises to Ignite Creativity and Revitalize Your Writing
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala (September 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159030473X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590304730
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #416,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Practical, accessible, and motivational."—The Washington Post


"A worthwhile and motivating read for all writers, whether or not they are familiar with yoga. Those who enjoy Julia Cameron's (The Artist's Way, etc.) holistic approach should similarly like Herring's work."—Library Journal

"The practice is exquisitely clear; breathe and write. This book is an excellent guide and a catalyst for that deep work, and a wise companion for the writer's journey."—SARK, author and artist of Fabulous Friendship Festival

"Laraine Herring takes you on a journey toward wholeness as a writer—she not only explores every aspect of the writing process; she also invites you to explore every aspect of your writing self—body, mind, and spirit. Anyone who writes—or wants to—will find this book as essential and inspiring as breath."—Gayle Brandeis, author of Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write

About the Author

Laraine Herring holds an MFA in creative writing and an MA in counseling psychology. She has developed numerous workshops that use writing as a tool for healing grief and loss. She is the author of Writing Begins with the Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice, Lost Fathers: How Women Can Heal from Adolescent Father Loss, the novel Ghost Swamp Blues, and the short story collection Monsoons. Her short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in national and local publications. Her fiction has won the Barbara Deming Award for Women, and her nonfiction work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She currently teaches creative writing in Prescott, Arizona.

More About the Author

Laraine Herring holds and MFA in creative writing and an MA in counseling psychology. She has developed numerous workshops that use writing as a tool for healing grief and loss. She is the author of three novels: Gathering Lights: A Novel of San Francisco; Into the Garden of Gethsemane, Georgia, and Ghost Swamp Blues. Her books on writing include The Writing Warrior: Discovering the Courage to Free Your True Voice (voted one of the best books for writers from Poets & Writers magazine) and Writing Begins with the Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice. She is also the author of Lost Fathers: How Women Can Heal From Adolescent Father Loss and the short story collection Monsoons. Her short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in national and local publications. Her fiction has won the Barbara Deming Award for Women and her nonfiction work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She currently directs the creative writing program at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona and she teaches at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts. Learn more about Laraine at www.laraineherring.com.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
Laraine Herring has succeeded in writing a book for every writer's bedside table.
Amazon Customer
Laraine Herring was my student at Antioch University, and now I'm recommending this book to my current students- it's a wonderful guide for all writers.
Luz
Herring is a gentle and wise guide through the process of opening your mind and heart to the world and your work with wonder and awe.
Story Circle Book Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Suza Francina on January 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am a self-taught writer. Almost forty years have flown by, but I still recall the day I triumphantly placed my first newspaper article, thick with white-out, on the editor's desk. Through sheer desperation and force of will, I managed to turn my messy pages into a sparkling published masterpiece --or so it looked to me!

Writing a book is a long, arduous journey. You will need friendly helping hands along the way. This book is one of those helping hands. It will help assure that your writing sees the light of day.

Destiny dropped this book in my lap just in the nick of time, as I am about to embark on a very personal writing adventure. When I saw the title, "Writing Begins with the Breath," for me, a yogi-writer, it was love at first sight! I thought to myself, "Just what I need!" And I was right.

Before reading the book, I visited Laraine Herring's web site. She is an award winning author and a master teacher of creative writing. She teaches workshops which use writing as a tool for healing. This book is sprinkled with lively anecdotes from her experiences as both student and teacher.

As I leaf through the book to write this review, I see underlined sentences on almost every page. "Writing Begins with the Breath" compliments the other books that encourage me down the writing path: Brenda Ueland's "If You Want to Write," Natalie Goldberg's "Writing Down the Bones," Deena Metzger's "Writing for Your Life," just to name a few.

Part One, entitled "Focusing the Mind," opens with a chapter called "Risk." Herring recalls how the memoirist Michael Datcher was giving a seminar where he discussed the element of personal risk. A writer must ask herself, "What are you willing to risk to tell your stories?
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 3, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd guess the most difficult book to write is one meant to tell other writers how to write. Laraine
Herring has succeeded in writing a book for every writer's bedside table.

Beginning with the belief that your body's cells hold memory, stories, and experiences, creative
writer/teacher Laraine Herring wants every writer to write authentically. What is authentic writing?
Different for each writer - you know it when you read it.

Using story, advice, clues, and exercises, she leads writers deeper into writing. Her yoga exercises
(this is not Rodney Yee's or Patricia Walden's yoga) teach simple breathing, standing, and relaxing
techniques to allow gentle connections within your body to assist your writing process and allow your
characters to speak.

On every page Laraine's words float, flow, tumble, and surprise as she talks to you, her student, her
friend, and fellow writer. Yes, she takes risks and opens veins; Laraine practices what she teaches.

"Writing Begins with the Breath" is an important book for writers. But don't take my word; Natalie
Goldberg's publisher chose to publish it.

Amber Polo
amber@amberpolo.com
Relaxation, Writing, and Romance
Relaxation One Breath at a Time
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Format: Paperback
In "Writing Begins With The Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice" academician, creative writing instructor, and award winning fiction author Laraine Herring provides aspiring writers with a unique approach and distinctive guide to the craft of writing. The focus and message is how authors can tune into their bodies and connect with their emotions so that what they write becomes an expression of their whole being -- and not just an intellectual exercise. In "Writing Begins With The Breath" Laraine Herring has clearly practices what she's preached. The result is a text that is not only informed and informative, but inspired and inspiring. If you seek to write the next Great American Novel, then begin by reading what Laraine Herring has to say in "Writing Begins With The Breath"!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Luz on March 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
Laraine Herring was my student at Antioch University, and now I'm recommending this book to my current students- it's a wonderful guide for all writers. Take your time, read each section with care, and enjoy the journey Laraine takes you on via the breath, the body...and then dream, WRITE.
Alma Luz Villanueva
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Story Circle Book Reviews on January 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
Laraine Herring's book is about the "being" aspect of writing, not just the brain-centered "doing." The practice she describes is "deep writing," and Herring encourages readers to stop long enough to discover what that is. You may already know about craft, grammar, and storytelling. If you don't know about the "how-to", I say start with this book to get in touch with the process (opposed to the product). Herring is a gentle and wise guide through the process of opening your mind and heart to the world and your work with wonder and awe.

"Deep writing comes from our bodies, from our breath, and from our ability to remain solid in the places that scare us," Herring says. The term also refers to the connection or pathway we cultivate between our heads and our bodies. Herring offers breath and body exercises throughout the book to help readers find the space between the inhalation and exhalation where deep writing lives. That place, she says, is "between the doing and the dreaming, our place of power, of mystery, and of authenticity."

Part I is about "Focusing the Mind" and begins with a chapter on "risk." From my own experience, I know there needs to be some urgency in a piece of work to keep me going. There must be something I need to uncover. Herring describes writing as "passion and discovery." How true! She ends each chapter with "touchstones," which are lively prompts for your own deep writing practice.

From the one-word chapter titles of Part One such as risk, authenticity, humility, curiosity, empathy, acceptance, and relationship, Herring moves on to Part Two and "The Deep Writing Process." The section begins with "Self-Awareness." This is a pre-writing stage of asking yourself why you write or don't write. In her chapter called "Process vs.
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