27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
lives up to its blurbs,
This review is from: Word Work: Surviving and Thriving As a Writer (Paperback)
I stopped buying writing books years ago when I had a couple of Xerox boxes filled with Strunk & White, Gardner, Burroway, and just about everyone else. But the back cover blurbs for this book -- by Peter Straub ("The most useful, reliable writer's guide imaginable.") and Jean Auel ("Word Work will likely end up on every writer's desk, or it should.") -- made me look. I opened right to a chapter about what I've always thought would make a pretty interesting book all by itself: things to keep in mind if you're in a relationship with someone who doesn't understand the writing life. (Nora Joyce to James Joyce, "Why don't you write books people can read?")
Word Work looks to be targeted at everyone from beginners to successful professionals. I think it will be most valuable to the writer who's made a commitment to the craft but who hasn't yet rocketed to acclaim and success. Do I quit my day job? (Ch. 11: 'Death and the Day Job') Am I getting usuable feedback from my workshop? (Ch. 16: 'The Hazards of Writing Workshops') Am I crazy to believe I'll ever get published? (Ch. 20: 'That's an Affirmative')
The impediments to writing, to writing well, to publishing, and to making a living at it, are myriad. Rogers touches on more of them than any book I've seen outside of Plimpton's Writer's Chapbook. He presents multiple practical and novel strategies for dealing with the psychological, logistical, and social roadblocks writers face. Of the three writing books I keep handy to help me through the rough times (the Chapbook, Gardner's Art of Fiction, and this book) 'Word Work' is the most useful for the dealing with the greatest number of demons. Simply put, it helps me get more writing done.