Because writing is such an individual experience, the best writing books are personal. That's why Nancy Slonim Aronie, a National Public Radio commentator and the founder of a Martha's Vineyard writers' workshop, spends as much time discussing her own writing process, and her moments of triumph and rejection, as she does giving advice on writing itself. She offers pointers on certain general topics, such as creating a point of view and finding a sense of discipline, but because you can only learn writing by doing it, she also provides a variety of creativity expanding exercises, such as "Write about a time you felt one way and acted another." As Aronie writes, "Teachers can guide, nudge, give examples, inspire, show some mechanics, teach a few rules (then encourage that they be broken), point out a few organizational skills. But basically, writing is about accessing the gold mine sitting inside each and every one of you."
Both these books are about creative writing and finding a voice. Both talk about the healing power of the writing process. Aldrich, a creative writing teacher, focuses on journal writing. Her book is divided into three sections. The first includes reasons to keep a journal, how to do it, and a set of exercises to get started and overcome blocks. Section two is about different types of people who keep journals, and section three is a collection of entries from the author's own journals to use as examples for would-be journal writers. Her book includes many quotes from famous journal keepers and a useful annotated bibliography. Aronie, whose essays are aired on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, writes to inspire writers. Her style is warm and her message infectious. She too includes exercises to guide her readers. A major part of her message is just to get the paper and pen in contact with each other and worry about grammar and spelling and other "school stuff" after the habit of writing has been formed. This book, which compares favorably with Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird (LJ 8/94) and Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones (1986), is more readable than Aldrich's and is recommended for all public libraries.?Lisa J. Cihlar, Monroe P.L., Wis.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Loved it!! As a writer who is working on her first book, I found this to be just what I needed to support me in getting in the groove, connecting with my voice and my heart. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Anat Peri
This book is very insightful, as well as being delightful to read. It has inspired me to do quite a bit of writing that has been helpful for me in terms of healing and growing.Published 15 months ago by Sally S. Lomanno
I love this book. I found it very insightful and helpful. It inspired me so much that I signed up for a workshop the author is doing in Costa Rica. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Janet Rich
Filled with great advice, Nancy Slonim Aronie uses humor from life experience to defrost a would be writers fears. Read morePublished 22 months ago by R. Resewehr
This is a common sense approach to writing. Aronie's big point is that you have to start. You have to sit down and write and providence will take over dan help you along the way. Read morePublished on June 19, 2013 by David Cressy
Reading this book is like having a long conversation with an old friend. I couldn't put it down. If you want technical information, this might not be the book for you. Read morePublished on May 4, 2013 by Skeptical Seeker
The Nelson Mandela and Goethe quotes are misattributed. That doesn't inspire confidence, and I wish they'd correct it. "Boldness has genius" is evidently by explorer W.H. Read morePublished on January 24, 2013 by Jim Thunder James
I purchased this book as a gift for a friend. She has told me it was quite good, and well written. Apparently it is also entertaining, interesting and an easy read. Read morePublished on March 18, 2011 by Karen K. Baker