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The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Lifeby Dinty W. Moore
Synopses & Reviews
One need not be a Buddhist, of course, to be mindful and alert. In fact, seeing how often non-Buddhist writers offer advice that seems entirely compatible to what I encounter in my Buddhist studies reinforces all that I have come to believe about the convergence of the two. This book goes a step beyond typical "how to write" books and illuminates the creative process: where writing and creativity originate, how does mindfulness play out when the writers is actually at the desk, cultivation writing habits, and growing as a writer, but also what it means to have a "writing life" and be dedicated to the craft. Theres not a serious writer alive, novice or master, who will not benefit from this book and fall in love with it.
Cover to cover, word to word, it is riveting and delightful; the essays are wise and engaging. This book also will be one that a reader can turn to any page and get flash of inspiration from the many surprising and useful quotes.
"Advice books for writers are a dime a dozen but Moore (Crafting the Personal Essay) provides a fresh approach with this melding of Buddhist teachings and sage career and life lessons for those who devote their lives to the written word. Built upon the concept of mindfulness — the total concentration and openness to what's in front of you — Moore divides the book into four sections (just as there are four noble truths in Buddhism). 'The Writer's Mind' focuses on the nature of creativity; 'The Writer's Desk' on how mindfulness is at work during the act of putting words on paper; 'The Writer's Vision' on nurturing good writing habits; and 'The Writer's Life,' or what it means to be a writer out in the world. Structured as a series of quotes — primarily from artists and from Buddhist monks — followed by Moore's reflections, each short passage is illuminating on its own and as part of a larger whole. Some quotes will be familiar to seasoned wordsmiths, such as Rainer Maria Rilke's invocation that writers must write or else they will die, but it's lesser known nuggets of wisdom, coupled with Moore's never patronizing advice that ring true. From Faulkner's 'kill your darlings' (cutting words is a necessary evil) to Pema Chödrön's observation that clinging too hard to something 'makes you unavailable to hear anything new,' this is a compact book of practical and philosophical truths for both novice and veteran writers." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Thought provoking and inspiring." Martine Batchelor, author of Let Go
"Three cheers — and three bows — to Dinty W. Moores Mindful Writer!" Rafe Martin, author of Endless Path and The Banyan Deer
Going a step beyond typical "how to write" books, Moore illuminates the creative process: where writing and creativity originate, how mindfulness plays into work, how to cultivate good writing habits, how to grow as a writer — and a person! — and what it means to have a life dedicated to the craft of writing. There's not a writer alive, novice or master, who will not benefit from this book and fall in love with it. Cover to cover, this wise little book is riveting and delightful. Readers will turn to The Mindful Writer again and again as a source inspiration, guidance, and support.
About the Author
Dinty W. Moore is a professor at Ohio University, where he directs the graduate program in creative writing. A highly regarded and active figure on the literary scene, Moore is often invited to speak and teach writing workshops nationally and internationally. He has published several books of fiction and nonfiction, including two books on the craft of writing.
His essays and stories have appeared in Harpers, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Arts & Letters, Gettysburg Review, Utne Reader, and Crazyhorse — and he pioneered the increasingly popular "flash nonfiction" form through his work on Brevity.com, a prominent "e-zine." A fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, he is the coordinating editor for the anthology The Best Creative Nonfiction, and serves on the editorial board of Creative Nonfiction magazine, as well as on board of directors of The Association of Writers & Writing Programs.
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