Saturday 9 April 2016

The Right to Write Book Review

If you are a writer and only ever read one book on writing, this should definitely be it.  Julia
Cameron's book is full of encouragement and great writing prompts.  It is unpretentious and full of things I have thought but never put into words.  Although I didn't complete all of the writing prompts, it is the kind of book I plan to return to again and again for ideas and reassurance.

I took my time reading the book, savouring what was inside.  I didn't want it to end; it was like I had Julia's voice in my head, telling me I could do it, that my ideas were worth something and that writing is not just about publishing and writing to the market.  I love how she writes about the mysteriously spiritual side of writing, how good it is for the writer simply to write.

Two of my favourite chapters were Bad Writing and Containment.  While Bad Writing debunks the myth of having to write perfectly, Containment describes the importance of protecting your work and yourself from those who want to derail you along the way.  If I taught a writing class, I would make these prerequisite readings for all my students.

I was also excited to find that Cameron self-published and is a champion for self-publishing.  So many published authors and their publishers put down those of us who publish on our own.  It is great to have someone say self-publishing is good!

Here are a few of my favourite quotes, which I couldn't help pasting all over Twitter and Facebook:

"We are far larger, far more marvelous, far more deeply and consistently creative than we can recognize or know."

"We do not see ourselves with accuracy."

"If only we could give ourselves permission to write 'badly', so many of us would write very well indeed."

"First drafts that are allowed to find their own shape and form very often do find the best trail or something very close to it."

"When I am writing often enough, I find myself interested by what I am saying. Interested myself, it is easier for me to believe that others might be interested. Conversely, as I empty myself onto the page, there is more room for other people's thoughts, other people's ideas. There is, in short, more room for companionship. Less room for loneliness."

I can't tell you how good this book is.  You just need to read it yourself!

1 comment:

  1. Nice review Sam! I'm so grateful that you recommended this to me and second your sentiment that writers should read this!