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Writing from the Heart: Tapping the Power of Your Inner Voice Paperback – February 23, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1st edition (February 23, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786882875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786882878
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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."

From Library Journal

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I found it very insightful and helpful.
Janet Rich
The book is just like talking with her -- if you can't take one of her courses, it's the next best thing.
Writer and reader
Whether you want to write for your own pleasure or for publication, this is a wonderful book.
C. G. La Ferle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
After purchasing numerous "how to overcome writer's block" books, I accidentally stumbled across this book at the public library. What a find! I am now buying my own copy and giving the other books away.... For me, this book is more inspirational and constructive than even Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird and Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. The writer addresses some typical writing blocks and how to navigate them. But this isn't your typical "how to" book. It's a personal, soulful book that exposes the root of creativity. I now see that my inexplicable writing block has been, in truth, a terror of FEELING. My thanks to the author for this insight ----- and for many other remarkable insights.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Writer and reader on January 2, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've taken several workshops with Nancy and have always come away exhilirated and with the kernels of ideas for many new essays. She just has this way of stimulating your brain to make new leaps and insights. Basically, she teaches you how to get out of your own way and let your creativity flow. Her main thrust is to create a safe place in your mind where you can risk trying new things. The book is just like talking with her -- if you can't take one of her courses, it's the next best thing.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By nwmb95b@prodigy.com on May 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
NPR commentator and writing guru Nancy Slonim Aronie has written a book which is destined to become a classic of the genre. Her lessons on writing are not so much pieces of advice as gentle stories of how humans can thrive--and heal--by expressing their truth in words. Aronie's book inevitably brings to mind such titles as Lamott's BIRD BY BIRD, Goldberg's WRITING DOWN THE BONES, and Cameron's THE ARTIST'S WAY. But this is a new writer, and a new way of looking at the creative process, and the world. Funny, personal, and caring, WRITING FROM THE HEART will leave you uplifted and touched to the core. Read it, and then buy another for your best writing friend. Don't miss this book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on April 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
Ok, so you want to write "your story", or create a character that surprise! is so very like you. Or maybe you just want to start writing in first person present. But you can't!!! You try but it just doesn't come out right. You resist, you tell yourself that you can't do it. That you suck. Well, perhaps you honestly do but before you start to believe it pick up this book.

I think that the real problem, for me anyway, when it comes to writing first person present or developing a character that has experiences based upon mine, is fear. Fear of what might happen if I dare to dig into my life, my feelings.

What this book did for me was help me to get over that fear. Or it at least inspired me and made me want to keep trying to write my truth. It's difficult when writing like this to REMEMBER two things: It's FICTION and no one HAS to see it but you.

This book isn't dry and it isn't authoritative. In a witty, conversational manner Nancy gives you reasons to write your truth, to get out of your way, to break the barriers that are keeping you from writing something real and honest. Give yourself permission to feel and pick up this book! I think you will like it ;)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. G. La Ferle on March 14, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a memoir and personal essay workshop leader, I highly recommend this book to every new writer in my classes. It's right at the top of my required reading list, along with Anne Lamott's BIRD BY BIRD and Brenda Ueland's IF YOU WANT TO WRITE. Aronie's book helps slice through the fear that haunts most new writers who aren't sure how or where to begin. Best of all, she highlights the importance of telling your own truth, which leads to the healing gifts of writing. Whether you want to write for your own pleasure or for publication, this is a wonderful book. A classic in the genre. -- Cindy La Ferle, columnist and author of WRITING HOME, [...]
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
"Writing from the heart," touched my soul.As I read her words I felt like parts of myself were being revealed to the world. Every fear I ever had about writing was layed out in front of me, somehow setting me free. The chapter," To Thine Own Self, Write The Bloody Truth," opened me up to my own truths. I looked deeper inside myself and the relationships I have with thoes around me. How facinating it is to write truthfully about your husband, your children, your closest friends from your heart. It is a real eye opener.Anyone who ever has had a desire to write should read this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marthahallkelly on July 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
I just finished Nancy Aronie's writing workshop and can't get over what a great teacher she is. I had heard great things about her workshop and didn't think any class could be that transformative but it's all true and then some. Every person in our class (some professional writers, some not) came out feeling empowered, exhilarated and with buckets of insight about themselves and their writing. If you can't get to glorious Martha's Vineyard for the workshop (the best value on the planet) her book is the next best thing. She has written it in such a lovely conversational way, punctuated with stories of her own experiences as a writer, it's like having her right there with you as you turn the pages. She's so honest, deliciously funny and insightful it's hard not to be a better writer after reading it. Bird by Bird is great but Writing from the Heart helps you go a step further to the truth. I hope she is working on the next book. I'll be first in line.
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