Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life

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By Dani Shapiro

I started reading this on my Kindle in small bites a couple of weeks ago. At the time, I was in the middle of the revision process with Kate, and we were both completely exhausted. This book was medicine for me in those moments.

It’s a swift, easy read that’s packed with smarts. She uses a lot of metaphors, but they’re all useful and approachable—and that’s extremely hard to do. I’ll definitely be buying this in paperback so I can have it by my desk in a time of need.

Went for a walk today. A few more on Flickr. Went for a walk today. A few more on Flickr.

Went for a walk today. A few more on Flickr.

“Build a corner. This is what people who are good at puzzles do. They ignore the heaps of colors and shapes and simply look for straight edges. They focus on piecing together one tiny corner. Every book, story, and essay begins with a single word… Anchor yourself somewhere—anywhere—on the page.”
— Dani Shapiro, Still Writing

Short on Words

Today:

  • We sent the last two chapters to the copy editor.
  • I put on a new pair of Vans and went outside.
  • The birds sang out like a church choir.
  • Construction started again.
  • It felt like spring.
“English is a very powerful language, a colonizer’s language and a gift to a writer. English has destroyed and sucked up the languages of other cultures—its cruelty is its vitality.”
— Louise Erdrich, The Paris Review
“Don’t pretend to know more than you do. To say you have read a book and then seemingly to understand nothing of what you have read, proves you a half-wit. Only the very small mind hesitates to say ‘I don’t know.’”
“It is no coincidence that many women have compared weaving code to instructing a child. With both kids and computers, you must carefully think through what you want them to do, and then carefully phrase your commands.”
Tim Maly