9 Books About Writing That All Aspiring Writers Will Love

“Writing itself is always bad enough, but writing about writing is surely worse, in the futility department.” — Margaret Atwood Why do some people write, when others do not? When a writer is hunched over his desk in an empty room, dreaming up stories that never happened and will never happen, why is he doing it? Why is writing her response to the world, to life? What is this peculiar compulsion to write about the world? Annie Dillard said that a shoe salesman is more useful than writers, because everyone needs shoes more. And it’s not as if writing is always so enjoyable,…

Writers in Pajamas: Why You Should Not Be Embarrassed For Working From Home

It’s funny how many writers are embarrassed of the UPS guy finding them in PJs in the middle of the day. In a recent article in The New York Times, Evan Hughes writes about the rise of the Writers’ Space, which is exactly what it sounds like: a space for writers to work, “a cocoon that protects its inhabitants from a world where most people regard writing, with some reason, as a peculiar and dubious hobby.” Working at a Writers’ Space, you can avoid the embarrassment of the UPS guy coming and thinking, in Hughes words, this guy just writes all…

Review: Dani Shapiro, Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life

Dani Shapiro is the writing mentor I wish I had. In her memoir – Still Writing: the Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life – Shapiro, a writer as well as a teacher of writing, describes the simple act of sitting down to write. How can someone read (let alone write) an entire book about this? Try it, and the simple act of sitting down to write can encompass the entire world. In chapter-snippets from Reading and Patience to Cigarette Break and Envy, Shapiro explores the formidable space between the desire to write and the repeated act of putting words down…

The Writing Life. It’s Harder Than It Sounds.

I am awake. My husband has left for work. I am out of bed. I have made my first cup of tea. The familiar sounds of water boiling, tea bag bobbing, spoon clinking against cup, sugar dissolving. The cup makes a thud as I place it on my desk and sit down. I flip my laptop open. A blank document pops up. I expand it to fill the screen. I have shown up to work. I take another sip of tea. Settle into my chair. Stare at the screen. The cursor is blinking. I can hear someone sweeping stray leaves…