Customer Review

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, Beautifully Written, July 7, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear (Paperback)
If there is one book that I would give a beginning writer--and wish I'd found much earlier--it is The Courage to Write. It would be suitable for writers of any level, in truth, for it is written so well, with such attentiveness to the writer's anxieties and struggles. The final chapter, focusing as it does on determination and will to write, versus brilliance without substance, is alone worth the price of the book.
To be sure, the book does not dwell much on accumulated rejection slips that so often add further anxiety--that make one wonder if selling insurance wouldn't be better after all. In such a case, I would recommend reading the first and last chapters deeply and take their messages once more to heart: do you have the will and determination? do you have the courage (i.e. are you getting rejection slips because you are still skating on the surface of things, being glib, hiding behind a technique or style)?
The chapter on foggy, impenetrable, jargon-laden writing is also invaluable. I see no crime in being clear; it is a substantial relief to read that I am not alone in this matter. The gift of this book to the college freshman in a composition course would be money well-spent.
Perhaps of greatest benefit is that this book makes the reader/writer understand that he or she is highly typical in the fears, delay-tactics, rites and totems that are employed in the hopes of approaching, even taming, the empty page. Not everyone has access to writing courses or groups; some are impassioned and have the will and determination, but decide they'd rather not cloister themselves off in an M.F.A. program. A few good books will do as companionable guides in the hard but wholly rewarding work of writing. This book should be first among those chosen as such a companion.
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