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On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life that Lasts (Masters in Fine Living Series) Paperback – October 24, 2014
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“A genial marriage of practice and theory. For writers new and seasoned. This book is a winner.”—Philip Gulley, author of Front Porch Tales
On Being a Writer is that rare guide to writing that is both practical and inspiriting. Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig show—wisely and winsomely—how the habits of writing are inextricably connected to the habits of being. —Karen Swallow Prior, author of Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me and Fierce Convictions—The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More: Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist
About the Author
Ann Kroeker is a popular writing coach, speaker, and the author of two books, including Not So Fast. She also serves as an editor for Tweetspeak Poetry and The High Calling. Charity Singleton Craig is an editor for The High Calling, a contributing writer for Tweetspeak Poetry, and a staff writer for The Curator. She also serves the communication needs of various corporate clients.
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Top customer reviews
And yes, it is easy to read. It can be read quickly - probably in an afternoon. But here's the thing: you're not going to want to hurry through this one. Each of its twelve chapters includes something for you to do -- a new way of thinking/living/reflecting AND a specific set of prompts for writing exercises of your own. I was blessed to be a participant in one of Ann and Charity's workshops, the bones of which are fleshed out in this fine book. Many of these writing exercises were life-changing for me, causing me to claim my own identity as a writer and to listen to the stories within, the ones that are waiting to be told.
These women are in-the-trenches writers, producing essays, books, blog posts and amazing amounts of well-edited material for other writers. I highly recommend their work here -- if you want to find your writing voice and live your life as a person who is committed to being a 'real' writer (in other words, someone who actually writes!) this book will steer you in exactly the direction you need to go. I heartily recommend it.
Lately, I have been answering, "Consider starting here, with this book."
I am recommending "On Being a Writer" to anyone who aspires to be a writer, anyone who has begun to seriously explore publication, and anyone who already has years of experience under his or her writing belt.
This is a gem of a writer's guide. The stories shared by Kroeker and Craig are memorable, and their advice is practical. (And don't miss their YouTube playlist of short teaching videos.)
I've been writing professionally for my entire adult life, and am always eager to learn more about the craft and business of writing. Kroeker and Craig had me thinking about my writing life in new ways on almost every page.
On Being a Writer is fireworks for writers. Add the spark of a writer reading this book? Watch out for big wonder!
Every writer longs for more. More time. More focus. More confidence. More vision. More implementation. More smooth paths on the writing road. More succinct words on the page. More pleasure in the writing life.
Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig distill the vast longings of writers into twelve themes, such as Identity, Arrange, Discover, Rest, and Limit. By doing so, the authors invite a deeper writing life, a deeper life all the way around.
"Writing is more than what I do or teach or coach. I discover who I am," Ann reflects. Charity, having realized how the whole of her life influenced the whole of her writing, reignited her enjoyment of art museums and exhibits. She noticed she'd set aside herself just a bit too much, in lieu of everyone else around her. "Writing requires a flow both inward and outward of ideas, thoughts, and stories." With that thought in mind, Charity engaged in experiences that enriched her writing life, as well as all of life.
I'm a writer. Yet, I'd become stale and sloppy with my writing life. The edge of excitement and innovation had given way to the dullness of disillusionment and indifference. Signing up for an online class on writing seemed like a good step towards a fresh beginning.
Little did I know that the course would become this small book, one packed with a big bang of hope. Imagine my delight when I discovered that the course had become a book. Having read it, I explored the concepts in depth through five concrete exercises at each chapter's end: Live, Respond, Write, Bonus, Discuss. Like the course from which it came, the book challenged and invited me to more. As I discovered, there's just no way to stay stuck if you really engage with the explorations within On Being a Writer.
Stepping into this small book, like its course predecessor, invited me to step afresh into the big world of writing. Here I've been inspired again to BE a writer.
Expect your writing life to explode into wonder as you venture into this book.
Here's what you'll find in each of the 12 chapters:
• A focus on one habit in building a sustainable writing life.
• A friendly, personable essay from each writer, opening windows into the ups and downs and discoveries of their own writing lives as one identity integrated into their larger lives.
• Relevant quotations from other writers.
• Invitations (with the imperatives Live, Respond, Write) to help you consider and begin to implement each habit.
• Thoughtful, friendly, incisive discussion questions, for use by a writing group or an individual.
• Approaches that are useful for people at any stage of the writing life, from the secret scribbler who hasn't yet dared to call himself by the W word to the full-time author with several book titles to her name.
• The sense that you have been welcomed into their writing spaces, and the desire to invite them into yours.
Some of the book is visible here, and their publisher, T.S. Poetry Press, has generously made 1/4 of the book available on Noisetrade if you want to kick the tires and take it for a test-drive before you buy. It would also make a great gift of encouragement for the writer in your life.