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A Year of Writing Dangerously: 365 Days of Inspiration and Encouragement Paperback – June 12, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“If you are a writer — and go on, be brave, say, ‘I am a writer’ — then this is the book you will turn to every morning, noon, or night when you sit down to write.”
Jacqueline Winspear, author of the Maisie Dobbs mystery series

“When you open Barbara Abercrombie’s brilliant A Year of Writing Dangerously, you are in a house full of writers, each of whom wants to march you over to a corner to tell you something important about the writing life....Prepare yourself for a wonderful party!”
Phyllis Theroux, author of The Journal Keeper: A Memoir

“Funny and full of comfort (and the company of writing rock stars), this book is as essential to any writer as a verb.”
Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You

“There is something necessary in these pages for everyone, from the beginning writer to the widely published author.”
Naomi Benaron, author of Running the Rift, winner of the Bellwether Prize for Fiction

“Candid and inspiring. Full of the kind of wit and wisdom her students have come to expect.”
Dennis Palumbo, author of the Daniel Rinaldi mystery series

“A tremendously useful book for anyone who wants to write.”
Janet Sternburg, author of Phantom Limb

“I loved this book. Every entry is a new adventure, followed by a quotation that illuminates and stimulates the mind.”
Abigail Thomas, author of A Three Dog Life

“Filled with wisdom about the writing process and sound counsel for those who engage in it.”
Ralph Keyes, author of The Courage to Write

About the Author

A widely published author and editor, Barbara Abercrombie teaches at the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program. She lives in Santa Monica, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608680517
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608680511
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A Year of Writing Dangerously by Barbara Abercrombie is a book that all writers should use to help them write 365 days out of the year. It is filled with fun anecdotes, quotes, writing prompts, and much more!

A Year of Writing Dangerously is a seriously useful tool to help with writing, even dangerously if you so desire. Each day has an anecdote or inspiration to some degree for you to read. Beneath that is an inspirational quote from an author, which I always found to be highly encouraging.

The days aren't listed by days of the month, they are numbered 1-365, so you can start your year of writing on any day of the year you wish. I really like the whole idea of this book, and hopefully in a year from now I'll be finished with my very own novel.

I found this book to be an incredibly helpful writer's tool. It inspired me to not only come up with a new idea for a novel, but also pushed me to go back and look at one I started writing a few years ago. Barbara Abercrombie is an excellent writing coach just from this book alone, and I'm sure I would be amazed by what her actual in-person writing classes are like.

I highly recommend this book for all writers to have in their writer's space, especially if you suffer from any form of writer's block.

* Thank you to the publisher of A Year of Writing Dangerously, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was having such a hard time writing- mostly do to anxiety- and this book helped me so much. It is very inspiring and relatable and I love how each tip has both words from Barbara and quotes from other authors. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
Writers are a unique bunch. They stake everything on being able to cover a blank page or screen with words. If they can't do it, they fail. Writing is not really a question of inspiration. It's a question of habit: putting the hours in, day in and day out.

Still, sometimes a writer needs something to "shake the words loose." To get the words flowing. And waiting for inspiration won't cut it. That's the one sure way to stop being a writer. And that's where this book comes in.

A year of writing dangerously provides 365 entries designed to get a writer's juices flowing, and to boost a writer's flagging spirits. Every entry includes around a paragraph of helpful or encouraging advice, and a quotation to put the day's writing in perspective.

Sometimes, a little bit of writing- or word-related distraction can be helpful when you're trying to write. (Spend 5 minutes with Parlett's THE Book of Word Games and you'll see what I mean.) So refer to it when the words just won't flow. Allow it as a "helpful" distraction during your writing time. And keep it on your writing desk at all times.
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Format: Paperback
Barbara Abercrombie's latest book distills the wisdom she has gained from years of writing and puts it on the page.

"Why dangerously?" Abercrombie--an author, editor, and teacher--asks the reader. "Because there's always a sense of risk when you write--fear that maybe someone will deny your version of things, or that they'll get mad and disown you, or that maybe you'll make a fool of yourself..."

Then why write at all? Because, she says, "writing is... how you nail down and get to keep the good moments. How you live more deeply and become more conscious."

Jump right in at the first page, where Abercrombie is talking about a dangerous road up to her mountain cabin. "Writing has always felt just like that road... scary," she says. It holds the possibility she will have nothing to say. Then she asks you to think of your own metaphor for beginning to write, and there you are, writing already.

Other pages have titles like "Sacred Space," "Choosing Story over Relatives," and "The Four Stages of Receiving Feedback." Abercrombie writes a few paragraphs on each topic and closes with a relevant quote from an accomplished writer. There is enough here to keep you going for a year, whatever you are writing.

What I like about this paperback is that you are not likely to sit down and read it all, neglecting your own writing. No, this is the kind of book you will keep at your desk, and each morning as you sit down to write, randomly choose a page, or read one page a day in order, then get to it: Do your own work. It's that encouraging.

At the end of the book are fifty-two writing prompts, an extensive bibliography of books and articles and an index of writers and artists quoted.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
OK, I'm the author of several books - and I read thousands of books a year as both a reviewer and for pleasure - this book without a doubt is the one I am most excited about as far as a pure gift of encouragement to writers - whither they be new, or experienced. Writing is such a solitary life - and I've often wished I had other writers on call - who would be there when I needed them but never bother me when I don't need them: THIS BOOK IS THAT WISH COME TRUE! Oh my where do I start with all the reasons I love this book. 1. It's simply dang encouraging. (I'm not always the most eloquent in my praise). In fact the way I found this book - is I was in the middle of a difficult part of a new writing memoir I'm working on and I simply googled: Encouragement for writers - and this book came up. 2. It's like a memoir from the author - about her struggles with the writing life. OK, this is the truth - I don't like to spend money on books I am not enticed by - so I read the 'free sample' of the book. I didn't even finish 3 pages and I was HOOKED! I went back and bought the whole book - paid full price. (You have to know me to know - I don't pay full price for much of anything). That's how good this book is! 3. In A Year of Writing Dangerously, Barbara Abercrombie mentions a plethora of other writers - all through the book - either by quoting them or referring to their work. And I LOVE that - because most of them I wasn't familiar with so throughout my reading of A Year of...I found myself stopping and googling other writers and ordering some of their books. (Compulsive readers - love to hear about new books).

And last let me say This book reminds me of my experience with Dark Chocolate Truffles. (That is the highest praise I can give).
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