You never know what you’re going to get when you drop in here, do you? Well, except for Mondays. That’s almost always a Colorado author feature. There are so many authors in Colorado that I expect I’ll keep on doing that for a long time.
The other days, though, anything can happen. I might tell you about night before last when a skunk took offense at a barking dog in the neighborhood, which meant I had to jump up right in the middle of Big Brother and shut the window.
Or I might pick something more pleasant to talk about. Like the fact that I had pepperoni pizza and a peanut butter cookie for dinner last night. No veggies. No fruit. Just plain old delicious unhealthy carbohydrates and a pinch of protein.
Okay, enough of that. I do have something better to offer you. Here are three of the writing books I’ve kept on my shelf for years and reread from time to time.
Natalie Goldberg is so well known for Writing Down the Bones that another of her books, Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life, is often overlooked. Published by Bantam in 1990, Wild Mind is about writing practice and is filled with stories, prompts, and the expected connections to Buddhism and Zen practice.
I like the chapter on Procrastination and Waiting. It speaks to me. The chapter begins:
“There is a difference between procrastination and waiting. Procrastination is pushing aside or putting off writing. It is thinking the moment is tomorrow. It is a way not to let in vital energy. Don’t procrastinate. Write now.
Waiting is something full-bodied. Perhaps waiting isn’t even a good word for it. Pregnant is better. You’ve worked on something for a while. You are excited by it, even happy, but you are wise and step back. You take a walk…You are letting writing work on you.”
For Writers Only by Sophy Burnham (Random House 1996) is another older book I’ve kept around. A collection of quotations from great writers, mixed with Burnham’s observations and personal stories, this book’s chapters range from On Knowing You Are a Writer to Writer’s Block. “What to do about writer’s block? Write anyway,” Burnham says, but then lists other things you can do while rejoicing in your “respite from your work.”
And finally, published by Henry Holt in 1993, The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear by Ralph Keyes is useful for helping us diagnose and move past anxiety. I was never particularly afraid of writing, I guess, but was terrified of submitting for a long, long time. Those who are apprehensive about reading their reviews might get some insights from this book as well.