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A Year of Writing Dangerously: 365 Days of Inspiration and Encouragement Paperback – June 12, 2012
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Jacqueline Winspear, author of the Maisie Dobbs mystery series
When you open Barbara Abercrombie’s brilliant A Year of Writing Dangerously, you are in a house full of writers, each of whom wants to march you over to a corner to tell you something important about the writing life....Prepare yourself for a wonderful party!”
Phyllis Theroux, author of The Journal Keeper: A Memoir
Funny and full of comfort (and the company of writing rock stars), this book is as essential to any writer as a verb.”
Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You
There is something necessary in these pages for everyone, from the beginning writer to the widely published author.”
Naomi Benaron, author of Running the Rift, winner of the Bellwether Prize for Fiction
Candid and inspiring. Full of the kind of wit and wisdom her students have come to expect.”
Dennis Palumbo, author of the Daniel Rinaldi mystery series
A tremendously useful book for anyone who wants to write.”
Janet Sternburg, author of Phantom Limb
I loved this book. Every entry is a new adventure, followed by a quotation that illuminates and stimulates the mind.”
Abigail Thomas, author of A Three Dog Life
Filled with wisdom about the writing process and sound counsel for those who engage in it.”
Ralph Keyes, author of The Courage to Write
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Top Customer Reviews
A Year of Writing Dangerously is a seriously useful tool to help with writing, even dangerously if you so desire. Each day has an anecdote or inspiration to some degree for you to read. Beneath that is an inspirational quote from an author, which I always found to be highly encouraging.
The days aren't listed by days of the month, they are numbered 1-365, so you can start your year of writing on any day of the year you wish. I really like the whole idea of this book, and hopefully in a year from now I'll be finished with my very own novel.
I found this book to be an incredibly helpful writer's tool. It inspired me to not only come up with a new idea for a novel, but also pushed me to go back and look at one I started writing a few years ago. Barbara Abercrombie is an excellent writing coach just from this book alone, and I'm sure I would be amazed by what her actual in-person writing classes are like.
I highly recommend this book for all writers to have in their writer's space, especially if you suffer from any form of writer's block.
* Thank you to the publisher of A Year of Writing Dangerously, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Still, sometimes a writer needs something to "shake the words loose." To get the words flowing. And waiting for inspiration won't cut it. That's the one sure way to stop being a writer. And that's where this book comes in.
A year of writing dangerously provides 365 entries designed to get a writer's juices flowing, and to boost a writer's flagging spirits. Every entry includes around a paragraph of helpful or encouraging advice, and a quotation to put the day's writing in perspective.
Sometimes, a little bit of writing- or word-related distraction can be helpful when you're trying to write. (Spend 5 minutes with Parlett's THE Book of Word Games and you'll see what I mean.) So refer to it when the words just won't flow. Allow it as a "helpful" distraction during your writing time. And keep it on your writing desk at all times.
"Why dangerously?" Abercrombie--an author, editor, and teacher--asks the reader. "Because there's always a sense of risk when you write--fear that maybe someone will deny your version of things, or that they'll get mad and disown you, or that maybe you'll make a fool of yourself..."
Then why write at all? Because, she says, "writing is... how you nail down and get to keep the good moments. How you live more deeply and become more conscious."
Jump right in at the first page, where Abercrombie is talking about a dangerous road up to her mountain cabin. "Writing has always felt just like that road... scary," she says. It holds the possibility she will have nothing to say. Then she asks you to think of your own metaphor for beginning to write, and there you are, writing already.
Other pages have titles like "Sacred Space," "Choosing Story over Relatives," and "The Four Stages of Receiving Feedback." Abercrombie writes a few paragraphs on each topic and closes with a relevant quote from an accomplished writer. There is enough here to keep you going for a year, whatever you are writing.
What I like about this paperback is that you are not likely to sit down and read it all, neglecting your own writing. No, this is the kind of book you will keep at your desk, and each morning as you sit down to write, randomly choose a page, or read one page a day in order, then get to it: Do your own work. It's that encouraging.
At the end of the book are fifty-two writing prompts, an extensive bibliography of books and articles and an index of writers and artists quoted.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good devotional for daily reminders of what's important...I wished they would have dates instead of day numbers. Looking forward to writing prompts in 2016.Published 1 month ago by Sarah J Schlosser
Food for thought! Good starts like writing prompts. Things to consider.Published 1 month ago by Hannah
I read Kicking In The Wall and was impressed. But this book is just page after page of paragraph-length drivel. I don't understand how it's supposed to help anyone write. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Sally
Very inspiring book! I am so glad that I found it! It has increased my creativity already!Published 10 months ago by Julie Harnisch
I love this book! It never fails to give me the inspiration that I need on a particular day that I am having writer's block. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Lou Ann Stowell
365 short and insightful anecdotes, each one followed by a quote from a famous artist. I read the entire book straight through over the course of just a few days, but after that,... Read morePublished 13 months ago by jlonz
Can't just read one a day. I find myself reading at least 3 or 4 at a time. If you think you are the only one feeling the insecurities of writing, you are wrong. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Linda Hawkins
*A Year of Writing Dangerously* does one thing nobly: It provides the reassurance budding writers need as they struggle to write what is important to them. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Dean Squared