Slice of Life: Writing Inspiration 22 of 31

 



It's day 22 of the Slice of Life Challenge. How are you doing? I'm still hanging in there. My biggest challenge seems to be trying to break the two space habit after a period. I know, it's past time. The struggle is real. 

Each year when I participate in the challenge I have three main goals:

  1. To write every day (I have done this enough to know that at the end of the month there are stories written that would have been lost --- even if they aren't quite as polished as I might like.)
  2. To find mentor posts with interesting craft moves, structures, and/or topics
  3. To read a book about writing to try to work toward some improvements and provide some inspiration along the way
This year, I purchased A Writer's Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld. At the beginning of the month, I started the challenge be rereading some favorite books about writing, but I decided I wanted to read something new. After reading several posts around the topic of writing books, I selected this one. I have just started to read it and look forward to whatever inspiration it may bring. 

My purchase made me wonder if you have any favorite books about writing. I hope you'll leave them in the comments. Here are three that are at the top of my list:


The Muses Among Us by Kim Stafford:  This one is my absolute favorite. This book probably just came to me at the right time, but it is one I have read and reread. As a matter of fact, I went to find it to share a quote or two and it isn't in its usual spot. This happens with my favorites. It's somewhere around here. 


Crafting a Life in Essay, Story, Poem by Donald M. Murray:  Years ago I became intrigued by the personal essay. I wanted to learn to write one with greater meaning. I was fascinated by the way writers could weave story, craft, and bigger ideas. I turned to Donald Murray with no regrets. I return to this book often to try to improve my essay writing. 


Breathing In, Breathing Out by Ralph Fletcher: This book is one I return to again and again. While focused more on the idea of keeping a notebook, it provides much to consider in the way of finding ideas for writing. "If I want to write movingly, I must first pay attention to what moves me," Fletcher reminds. In this book he discusses the delicate balance between breathing in the world to help breath out story. 

These are three favorites today, but I have a shelf of these books and return to most all of them for one reason or another. I haven't even touched my poetry writing books which are by far my favorite. That's for another day.

I'd love to hear some of your favorites. I hope you'll share them in the comments. 


It's March and I'm diving back into the March Slice of Life Challenge!  Buckle in!  This will be my 8th year joining the community (though I must confess to a two year break).  Yep, some of the writing will be messy.  Honestly, most of it will be messy.  Thanks for stopping by.  I'm excited to dive back into the madness.  Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for hosting.  

Comments

  1. I am saving this post for future use! I don't have a favorite writing book yet, but I have just been given the recommendation of a new Julia Cameron book called The Listening Path: The Creative Art of Attention. It prescribes a six week course of action, which I think I will attempt starting in May as a sweet distraction to the end-of-year school chaos.

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    1. You'll have to let me know what you think.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your insightful thoughts on these gems! I am a big fan of Ralph Fletcher but I do not own Breathing In, Breathing Out. I may hvae to gift that one to myself at the end of the month!

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    1. Yes! It's a must for your Fletcher collection - especially if you keep notebook or would like to begin. I have quite a Fletcher collection also and return to many of the titles often.

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  3. Thank you for being generous and sharing your sources of inspiration and learning. I kind of feel that you already have Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird and Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones.

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    1. I have Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. I return to it often. I enjoy all of her work, but this one is a favorite for revisiting. I do not have Writing Down the Bones though it is one of the books I have been considering. What do you think?

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  4. Breathing In, Breathing Out is never far from me. In fact, i have two copies on either side of my office so no matter which chair I'm sitting in, it's always within arm's length! Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg are two more I couldn't live and write without. I also love Pat Schneider's Writing Alone and With Others. Matthew Salesses's Craft in the Real World is blowing my mind right now and will probably be a regular reread as well. I also return again and again to everything Don Murray wrote. My copy of A Writer Teaches Writing is falling apart.

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    1. Oh my. I knew this would be a dangerous post to write. Writing Down the Bones may have to get added to my collection. It pops up everywhere and you are the second person to recommend it here. I'm curious about Wild Mind and Craft in the Real World. I'm going to have to check these two out. I have Schneider's book and return to it every now and then as well. So many books, so little time. Thanks for the recommendations.

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  5. I always love book recommendations. I also love “Bird By Bird” and “Writing Down the Bones,” both already mentioned. “Craft in the Real World” is on my TBR when I finish “The Antiracist Writing Workshop.” I’ve recommended “On Writing” by Stephen King to many. Im sure I’m leaving something out!

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    1. How have I missed The Antiracist Writing Workshop??? That looks like an important read.

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  6. You have a great collection of suggestions both in your post and in the comments. Craft in the Real World that Elisabeth mentions is one I have not heard of before-- will have to check it out.

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  7. Thanks for the recommendations! I've not read these before. Adding them to my list. I love "10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know" and "Draft No. 4". :)

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  8. I recently rediscovered and repurposed How to Be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith as a book of writing invitations that I have been adapting for my students. It's a gem!

    Kim

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    1. I had to go check this out. It seems like it might really be a good one for inspiring poetry. Thank you for the suggestion.

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  9. Oh my! I've been missing so much in my life! I have no favorite writing books at all, because that's a topic I've neglected in my reading. Because of your recommendations, and the others in the comments, I look forward to rectifying that situation. Thanks! :-) ~JudyK

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  10. I love On Writing, by Steven King. I don’t like Steven King books in general, but I love that book. Rita Mae Brown wrote one a while ago that i can’t remember the title of, before she started writing so much about cats. That one was also great. Thank you for sharing these.

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