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The Authentic Swing: Notes from the Writing of a First Novel Paperback – September 22, 2013
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Some of the chapters are a few sentences. It was as if he wrote the chapter title and the topic and decided he didn't need to thresh it out at all. I read the entire book literally in a few minutes. When you buy a book for $7-8 dollars, you do expect something more.
So, I'm feeling guilty now, because he is such a great writer, but this is not worthy of his talent and I cannot recommend it. Someone who wasn't a professional writer but can string sentences together could have written it. It was not - his authentic swing. I hope he can forgive me for saying so.
Emboldening, THE AUTHENTIC SWING looks at the mystical and the metaphysical as well as the mechanics of writing a novel. It is as much what you believe, as how you structure your writing days, the kinds of stories to tell -- and even, yes, the mechanics of how THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE was formed. Classic mythology provided a chassis, and for the Hollywood screenwriter, the notion of how motion pictures worked provided underpinnings on a subconscious level.
What emerges is the place of faith in the creative process; doing the impossible dream incrementally; thinking you've lost your mind; staying with it. And Pressfield isn't a 24-year starting out when he embarks on a novel based or inspired loosely by Michael Muprhy's seminal GOLF IN THE KINGDOM, a novel that merges Eastern thought and a magical round of golf in the Old Country of Scotland.
To be inspired, to be shown how, that's what THE AUTHENTIC SWING is all about.
What I found was a VERY interesting read, told in story format, that drew me in and caused me to realize that I had just read the book in one sitting. I normally read a book one time, and never again (because I remember it), but this book - like The Book of Five Rings (Go Rin No Sho, by Miyamoto Musashi) has layers.
Before folks get bent out of shape, I'm not comparing this book to Go Rin No Sho, which is an international classic spanning centuries of dedicated readers and serious students of life and strategy. What I am saying is that this book has a similar dynamic. Read it once, and it is a good read, and you get a lot out of it. Read it again, and you see another set of meanings and a deeper layer. Read it again...
Unlike most books I've read, I will read this one again - a few times. It is not a list of things to do, a formula to follow for aspiring writers - it is a concept and way of thinking that takes you much deeper than that.
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My only complaint is that if you have already read The War Of Art, then you may already be familiar with these topics in Authentic Swing. Pressfield goes more in to a personal level here. So if you want that end of things, get AS. If not, get WOA.