Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published by Harper Perennial HarperCollins first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Writing Life , please sign up. What is the book about? Is it about her life? Jon Stephens It's a combination of small excerpts from her life with some random prose thrown in.
If you've read "On Writing" by Steven King, it's the same sort of …more It's a combination of small excerpts from her life with some random prose thrown in. If you've read "On Writing" by Steven King, it's the same sort of thing But with fewer direct tips and a bit more metaphor. See all 3 questions about The Writing Life….
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard (Book Summary)
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Sort order. Jun 09, Dolors rated it really liked it Recommended to Dolors by: Aspiring writers and all kind of readers. Shelves: read-in This is a brief yet intense essay on the art, or as Dillard would say, the burden of writing that will delight readers and aspiring writers alike. Her lucid ponderings on the obsessive nature of those who devote their lives to squeeze the world out into sentences, limited by expression and linguistic patterns, are as petrifying as they are eye-opening.
Far from the romantic idea of a genius struck This is a brief yet intense essay on the art, or as Dillard would say, the burden of writing that will delight readers and aspiring writers alike. Far from the romantic idea of a genius struck by sudden inspiration, incessantly scribbling away in otherworldly vision and transforming it into polished and clearly defined paragraphs, Dillard describes the endless struggle the writer has to undergo to put down a handful of fragmented sentences per day.
And yet. Dillard uses the pen as a magician would use his wand and puts the reader under the irresistible spell of her spiritual writing. Fireworks for the blind. Each sentence hung over an abyssal ocean or sky which held all possibilities, as well as the possibility of nothing. View all 31 comments. Aug 13, Michael rated it really liked it Shelves: , favorites. My full review can be found on my blog.
In this short collection of essays on craft, Dillard meditates on what it means to become a writer as well as why someone might want to write in the first place: her seven essays, read in sequence, frame the writing life as a quasi-religious vocation that demands both hard work and curiosity, daring and endurance, from those drawn to it.
Her prose flows calmly from one point to the next, My full review can be found on my blog. Her prose flows calmly from one point to the next, and her attention to detail makes the essays stimulating to read. All this makes for a curious argument that mystifies the writing life, elevating it above other kinds of work, without idolizing the writer as celebrity.
View all 3 comments. Nov 26, Justin Tate rated it it was amazing. Beautiful essays on writing. The gist is that writing is agonizing work and those who are sane should probably avoid it. In her most dramatic moment, Dillard compares being a writer to being a stunt pilot. Stunt pilots write poetry in the sky with their loops and spins.
The audience is amazed by this beauty and imagines how wonderful it must feel. In the cockpit, however, the pilot is experiencing Beautiful essays on writing. In the cockpit, however, the pilot is experiencing bursting headaches and extreme pain from the various pull-and-tug of gravity. While I suspect this book will scare off some would-be writers as is its intent those of us familiar with the headaches and agony of creating sentences will probably find glorious inspiration in its pages. It takes a long time and is a lot of work.
I suspect most of us wonder if maybe we are crazy for doing it. Dillard confirms that we are indeed crazy, but there is great pleasure in hearing this from another insane person. She is someone who both understands the struggle of writing and the inability to stop. Feb 25, Malbadeen rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: chicken man.
Shelves: memoir-ish , nonfiction. I came across this book at a used store and picked it up as my brother has been trying to get me to read Dillard for awhile. I immediately loved it for her brutal words of reality. After sitting in the class were I have to listen to a circle of people nod their heads in affirmation at the absolutely unoriginal crap that is being churned out week after week and wondering if I'm the only one that wants to scream "Are you serious?! So I sit there in that class and I try to appreciate that my reaction to all of this writing I'm hearing is a harsh and unwarranted, critique on a group of people that are sincerely trying to do something they enjoy or feel compelled to do for whatever reason.
I smile, I affirm, I point out the things I liked ya, there are some things I like and I read my stories as fast as humanly possibly and try to avoid follow-up conversation at all costs. I think I fell in love with the book on page 11 when she talks about the meaningless task of writing compared to shoe sales. A thought she ends with, "If you believed Paradise Lost to be excellent, would you buy it? So I guess the syrupy, sweet moral of my story is that this book helped me to appreciate my classmates, the writing process, and the amusing trivialities that make our lives what they are.
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View all 4 comments. Dec 11, Riku Sayuj rated it it was amazing Shelves: companions , inspiration , writing-related.
The Writing Life
Tunnel through. Stretch the line to the limits of the possible. It will be hard, and it will be a torment, but that is the writing life. View all 9 comments. Annie Dillard wrote a brutally honest description of her relationship and struggles with the process of writing. Instead of the usual advice about showing, not telling, etc that I see etched inside my eyelids, as I read The Writing Life, I was compelled to copy its poetic quotes on note cards that I'll use as bookmarks.
I expect gems from this work will inspire and educate me as I stumble across them in days to come—quotes, such as the content of a note from Michelangelo to his apprentice, "Draw Annie Dillard wrote a brutally honest description of her relationship and struggles with the process of writing. I expect gems from this work will inspire and educate me as I stumble across them in days to come—quotes, such as the content of a note from Michelangelo to his apprentice, "Draw, Antonio, draw, Antonio, draw and do not waste time.
It can take years and heartbreak to see that Every book has an intrinsic impossibility, which its writer discovers as soon as his first excitement dwindles He writes it in spite of that. He finds ways to minimize the difficulty; he strengthens other virtues; he cantilevers the whole narrative out into thin air, and it holds. And if it can be done, then he can do it, and only he. For there is nothing in the material for this book that suggests to anyone but him alone its possibilities for meaning and feeling. Other notes: - The tendency and pressure upon writers these days is to churn out several books per year.
Dillard writes the putting a book together is difficult and complex and should engage all the writer's intelligence. He is careful of what he learns, because that is what he will know. Feb 03, Ammara Abid rated it really liked it. This is my first book by Annie Dillard and it didn't disappoint me.
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Brilliant book, beautiful excerpts with many examples corelating with how to write why to write what urge you to write, emphasizing the importance of words. The whole book was written in monotonous tone which is perfectly fine with the short book like this but the last chapter didn't hit me infact I get bored while reading. Otherwise the book is epic. You wield it, and it digs a path you follow. Soon you find yourself deep in new territory. Is it a dead end, or have you located the real subject? You will know tomorrow, or this time next year. Who will teach me to write?
Jul 30, Elise rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-nonfiction. Every paragraph is stunning, and I especially like the previous owner's occasional marginalia in my hardback copy. On page 14, Dillard writes: "Flaubert wrote steadily, with only the usual, appalling, strains.