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Rezensionen verfasst von
Susan K. Perry "Susan K. Perry" (Los Angeles, author of KYLIE'S HEEL, a novel)

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A Writer's Book of Days: A Spirited Companion and Lively Muse for the Writing Life
A Writer's Book of Days: A Spirited Companion and Lively Muse for the Writing Life
von Judy Reeves
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 18,89

5.0 von 5 Sternen When you need a firm, yet gentle, guiding hand, 25. April 2000
There are times in many writers' lives when just the right amount of ritual, regularity, and structure can make a difference in sticking with the writing life, or giving up and finding something else to do, something perhaps more immediately rewarding. Judy Reeves' book offers tidbits and nuggets of firmness -- write about this today, try that -- but she intersperses these suggestions with a philosophy of freedom. Write what you like, but do it every day. Short sections invite dipping into easily. She quotes numerous writers, living and gone, and offers commonsense guidelines that beginners often aren't yet familiar with. There's so much valuable advice here that even if you don't agree with every single sentence, you will learn a great deal that will get you writing.


Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew
Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew
von Ursula K Le Guin
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 12,91

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Not simplistic like some writing advice books, 12. März 2000
Steering the Craft is useful for anyone engaged in creative writing, whether the outcome is fiction or narrative nonfiction. Her exercises are meant to be consciousness-raisers, says LeGuin, whom I interviewed for my own bestselling WRITING IN FLOW, and whom I found to be quite forthcoming about her writing process. In this book, for instance, she covers how to show characters thinking, shifting points of view, the uses of repetition, and so on. Although I normally don't care for exercises as such, hers are fresh and flexible (write a page of descriptive narrative without adjectives or adverbs or dialogue; you can do this as part of whatever you're working on). An original contribution to the advice field.


Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write: How to Get a Contract and an Advance Before Writing Your Book
Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write: How to Get a Contract and an Advance Before Writing Your Book
von Elizabeth Lyon
  Taschenbuch

5.0 von 5 Sternen More detail than most such books, 12. März 2000
Everyone who teaches courses in nonfiction book writing has his or her own favorite guide to recommend, and as soon as I discovered this one, it became mine. Lyon's book differs from others in its extraordinary specificity. She tells you how to write every section of a salable proposal, with details about how to correct common weaknesses and lots of examples and comments on what works, what doesn't, and why. Her headings, boxes, and bulleted lists work well for this subject.
Susan K. Perry, author of the bestselling WRITING IN FLOW


Like Shaking Hands with God: A Conversation about Writing
Like Shaking Hands with God: A Conversation about Writing
von Kurt Vonnegut
  Gebundene Ausgabe

4.0 von 5 Sternen Slight book full of heavy thoughts about writing, 12. März 2000
In this slight volume (only 46 actual pages of transcribed talk), Vonnegut, the novelist, and Stringer, who wrote a book of memoir essays, carry on an enthusiastic conversation about why and how they write. This seems one of those brief dips into the psyche of very good authors that can be so motivating to all of us at various stages of our careers, no matter what we write or aspire to write. Vonnegut and Stringer are both passsionate about their work. The latter tells of how he realized he could write by describing his first extended flow experience, when he decided to use his pencil, which he otherwise normally used as a drug implement (to push screens into his pipe) to write. After five hours of nonstop focus, he realized this was something, besides seeking drug highs, that he could really do well. They both talk about the primary importance of answering the big questions for themselves in their writing, and how publishing the results is almost an afterthought. Reminding us that even nonfiction authors write to find out where we're going, Stringer says, "I had a lot of fun trying to figure out how I was going to fill up these pages, and then, convinced that I'm not going to figure it out, bingo! something happens. It's like shaking hands with God." There may not be a lot to read here, but it's on target and REAL.
Susan K. Perry, author of the bestselling WRITING IN FLOW


The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life
The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life
von Julia Cameron
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 11,72

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Motivation if you need it, whether you're a "writer" or not, 12. März 2000
Cameron obviously intends with this book to offer motivation for writers, would-be writers, and, interestingly, everyone else too, since she firmly believes that EVERYONE is a writer at heart and everyone SHOULD write. I don't think everyone should be a writer any more than everyone should be a dog trainer (it has nothing to do with talent, by the way, and everything to do with doing what you LIKE). Once you get past that premise, is her advice for freeing up your writing useful? What she terms "initiation" tools include freewriting, positive affirmations, writing postcards to five friends in 15 minutes, listing 50 things that make you happy or 100 things you love, and so on. Though, clearly, such tools are most helpful to writers who aren't flooded by ideas from morning 'til night, it's possible that if you're feeling stymied by your current project, one of Cameron's exercises might unrust your creative gears and help you enter flow (though the novelists and poets I interviewed for my own bestselling WRITING IN FLOW almost never use such prompts themselves, they admit they give them to their students -- so if you're new at this, do whatever works). (But don't limit yourself to listing "things I love." How about "things that make me want to strangle someone"?)


Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process
Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process
von Peter Elbow
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 26,75

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Good advice for getting juices flowing, 12. März 2000
By "writing with power," Elbow means having control and not feeling stuck or helpless. One of the hallmarks of "flow" (see my own bestselling WRITING IN FLOW for lots on this) is a sense that you're in control -- at least enough to do the task you've set yourself. He offers a variety of methods for getting going, from the familiar freewriting to using a list of metaphorical questions that he provides to inspire fresh ideas. One of his techniques, which he explains in great and useful detail, is called loop writing or directed freewriting. For instance, one way to get started is to write out all your prejudices about a topic before you begin writing it. Interesting chapters on audience, feedback, and revision. Here's one of his astute suggestions: Never do major revising when nauseated by your writing.


Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
von Anne Lamott
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 12,72

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Caught in Lamott's witty spell, 9. März 2000
Anne Lamott writes more eloquently than most on the trauma of writer's block. When a professor of mine spoke highly of BIRD BY BIRD, knowing I was studying flow for my own (subsequently bestselling) book WRITING IN FLOW, I was prepared to dislike it. After all, Lamott's novels are hardly famous, and the book she did begin to get known for is a memoir of the first year of her son's life. Since I started and stopped something similar, I was jealous.
But then I fell under her spell. Bird by Bird is a very funny book, and most of the humor is the endearingly self-deprecating kind. Besides, Lamott speaks openly of her own jealousy of any writer friend who is slightly more successful at the moment than she is. I'm a sucker for honesty.
Don't read this book to be entertained however. Read it to find out something about designing a plot, creating characters, and writing dialogue. Read it to find out how good writing happens. According to Lamott, it happens when "you sit down at approximately the same time every day. This is how you train your subconscious to kick in for you creatively." The honest part comes you stare at it for an hour or so. You begin rocking, just a little at first, and then like a huge autistic child."
This quick-reading book is filled with fresh anecdotes, personal revelations, and practical tips about taking notes, writing groups, and who should read your drafts. You complete it all in a rush ending with the reassuring sense that regular people, like the author and yourself, if you work harder than you expected to have to, can produce something very good. And although Lamott mainly writes about her own individual experiences, her insights and advice coincide nicely with what I found to be true by interviewing 76 top novelists and poets for my WRITING IN FLOW.


The 60-Second Novelist: What 22,613 People Taught Me about Life
The 60-Second Novelist: What 22,613 People Taught Me about Life
von Dan Hurley
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 7,63

5.0 von 5 Sternen Sneakily inspiring book for writers and others, 7. März 2000
I'll be honest: I gave this book 5 stars not for its deathless prose or vast literary quality, but because it does exactly and charmingly what it sets out to do. Author Hurley shares many dozens of very short tales he wrote on the spot in only a minute for people who were waiting right in front of him. Talk about pressure! But Hurley proves that writer's block can be conquered, sometimes, by giving yourself a deadline. And he does a lovely job of capturing some essence, some droll humor, some cosmic message in each of these vignettes. I'd say he was able to force himself into a state of flow (which I know a lot about from writing my own bestseller, WRITING IN FLOW)and let the words come without having the time to think about them too much. He seems to have a way of connecting with people quickly and he certainly has the ability of turning that connection into something quirky, fun, and surprisingly enjoyable to read. The next time you say you don't have time to write, you should be ashamed of yourself.


Dreaming Your Real Self
Dreaming Your Real Self
von Joan Mazza
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 17,41

5.0 von 5 Sternen A trustworthy guide to the hidden world of the night, 7. März 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Dreaming Your Real Self (Taschenbuch)
I could tell at first glance that Joan Mazza's Dreaming Your Real Self was a credible book about this intriguing topic, that it wasn't one of those silly books that tries to tell you that this means that and no two ways about it. And the further I got into it, the more pleased I was. First of all, she lets readers know that she's only suggesting possible ways to think about their dreams. When it comes to dreams, clearly, what any dream therapist or author claims is only valuable if it helps you understand yourself in some way. Next, I like that her focus is on health and self-knowledge, not merely on diagnosing neuroses or worse. And then, her approach is such a joyful one: she helps us find out how our dreams are very likely making secret rebels of us all.
Dreaming Your Real Self is practical too. For instance, I've been having this recurrent dream about babies (often rather prococious babies), and I checked her section on what this might mean. It began when my nest emptied, so I assumed I had it all figured out. Yet I got some surprising insights, especially that the symbols in the dream relate to what's happening to me NOW, even though my subconscious chose this particular type of dream several years ago. Now I've got something to reflect about and work with. Perhaps I'm actually dreaming of my own untapped potential? The works I haven't yet written that keep nagging at me to be born?
She's got a great section on dreams and creativity too, and since the latter is my own area of expertise (I've written a bestselling book called WRITING IN FLOW), I read it extra carefully. Mazza is right on target here too, right down to her descriptions of creative flow, and thus proves herself to me as a trustworthy guide to the realm of dreams.


Flow in Sports
Flow in Sports
von Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 14,50

5.0 von 5 Sternen Exciting topic, excellently & thoroughly covered, 7. März 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Flow in Sports (Taschenbuch)
Jackson and Csikszentmihalyi tackle the topic of how athletes -- from would-be champs to afterwork gym rats -- achieve that wonderful altered state of flow where the muscles work smoothly and you feel great about your workout. This book offers an unusually clear exposition of exactly HOW you can get enter flow in sports (similar to what I found to be the way writers enter flow in my own bestseller WRITING IN FLOW). It describes what's necessary, such as challenge, feedback, and focus on the present, and suggests ways to incorporate these elements into your sport. Lots of quotes from athletes involved in various sports help bring the text alive. There are notes, too, so you know they've done their research. Quite inspiring.


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