2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Zen Wisdom Meets Practical Writing Inspiration,
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This review is from: One Continuous Mistake : Four Noble Truths for Writers (Paperback)
Gail Sher is a writer, a teacher, a psychotherapist and a zen buddhist. She has infused this book with her accumulated wisdom garnered from many years of experience in all of these disciplines and by doing so she has produced a book that will inspire aspiring writers to go more deeply in their writing efforts.
This is more a book of practical writing wisdom with experimental suggestions and exercises than it is one offering the "usual and expected" technique; these sometimes unusual suggestions and exercises are meant to help the writer get the core of their "writer self" and to get the most out of his or her writing session.
According to Sher there are four "Noble Truths", the most fundamental of which is that "writers write". If a writer establishes a habit of regularly showing up when he or she is supposed to then he or she is already a successful writer even if nothing of value is produced during the writing session.
The book is divided up into seven sections (parts I-VII); a single exercise heads each section and there are an average of 7 to 10 chapters inside each section. The chapters themselves are refreshingly very short (each averaging a couple of pages) but in being so short each chapter is pithy, direct to the point and without waste.
Also there are a great many quotes that are from mostly writers throughout the book that seemed very helpful and inspirational to me as I read them.
I don't think that this book is enough to make you a competent writer. (I don't think it tries to accomplish that though.) To me it is more an inspirational aid that (as you sit there in front of your typewriter) helps you become more attuned to your "writer self"; overall it helps you to recognize and identify your assets and deficits as a writer.
I enjoyed the book thoroughly and I think that anyone looking for an inspirational type book on writing (or on creativity for that matter) imbued with the spirt of "zen" will enjoy it as well.