Synopses & Reviews
Elizabeth Berg touches women's lives with heartbreakingly funny and true novels -- including the New York Times
bestseller Talk Before Sleep
-- that distinctly capture the essence of their lives. Now this critically acclaimed author and writing instructor offers an inspiring, practical handbook on the joys, challenges, and creative possibilities inherent in the writing life.
Both autobiography and primer, Escaping into the Open interweaves Elizabeth Berg's story of her own journey from working mother to published novelist with encouraging advice on how to create stories that spring from deep within the heart.
For the beginning wordsmith, she provides guidance and concrete suggestions for getting started. She outlines the fifteen essential Ps of writing -- from purpose and perseverance to priorities and patience to playfulness and pens, pencils, and paper -- and shares the ways she uses to make the writing process as painless and joyous as possible. Offering advice grounded in the real-life experiences of writers, she sagely reminds us, "there is no single right way to do anything in writing. There is first the desire to communicate something on paper."
With wit and honesty, Elizabeth Berg provides numerous exercises that will unleash individual creativity and access and utilize all of the senses. Most important, she tells how to fire passion -- emotion -- into writing itself; to break through personal barriers and reach one's own outer limits and beyond. The author also provides useful information on making the transition from nonfiction to fiction, lists guaranteed techniques for getting unstuck, weighs the merits and pitfalls of attending writing classes and workshops, and shatters myths that can destroy a newly budding writer's dreams.
Listen to Elizabeth Berg. "It is all-fulfilling for me to be a published writer. It is literally a dream come true. I got into this business with no contacts, no writing classes or degree, and no experience. Please believe me when I tell you that with a little talent and perseverance, you can too." Escaping into the Open offers the key to fulfilling a personal, often secret, lifelong dream.
“As a writer Elizabeth Berg hit the ground running. Her very helpful advice to would-be authors is the equivalent of a good pair of track shoes. She knows how the publishing industry works, how sentences work, and why writers need to answer only to themselves.” C. Michael Curtis, senior editor, Atlantic Monthly
“Crystal clear, bracing as icewater, Escaping into the Open should be read by all scribblers regardless of material success.” Rita Mae Brown
“Elizabeth Berg has shown herself to be an author of astonishing talent. What is even more astonishing is the generosity with which she now shares her insights and wisdom on the process of writing.” Mary Mitchell, writing instructor, The Adult Learning Center, Framinghams Massachusetts
“Elizabeth Bergs writing exercises are wonderfully inventive. They capture the play and pleasures of writing. Her book is an insightful guide.” Ronna Wineberg Blaser, president, board of directors, The Tennessee Writers Alliance
“Im grateful as can be for having Escaping into the Open. Its part of my library now, and Im recommending it to anyone with the slightest urge to writeit tells it as it is.” Eileen Herbert Jordan, freelance writer
“This is a really good book . . . anyone who ever needs to write anything will find bright shards of useful stuff here.” Booklist
“Crystal clear, bracing as ice water, Escaping Into the Open
should be read by all scribblers regardless of material success.”
—Rita Mae Brown
“This is a really good book.”
Bestselling, award-winning novelist Elizabeth Berg knows a thing or two about writing, having graced the world with wonderful works of fiction including Talk Before Sleep, The Year of Pleasures, and the acclaimed Oprah Book Club Selection, Open House. With Escaping Into the Open, she offers an inspiring, eminently entertaining, and delightfully practical handbook on the joys, challenges, and creative possibilities inherent in the writing life. Now revised with new material—a classic in the vein of Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and Anne Lamotts Bird by Bird—Elizabeth Bergs Escaping Into the Open is an indispensable guide for any aspiring storyteller.
About the Author
Elizabeth Berg's work has won the NEBA Award for fiction and has been included twice on the ALA Best Books of the Year list. Her novel Open House was an Oprah's Book Club pick, and her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Ladies' Home Journal, Redbook, and the New York Times Magazine. She lives outside Chicago, Illinois.