Resource: The Art of Slow Writing by Louise DeSalvo

I stumbled across this book last week at one of those psychologically optimal moments, you know? I think I needed someone to tell me to slow down a little. It’s a well-put together, well-researched, not-too-didactic piece that discusses various writers’ approaches to their work.

I think this is the defining quote from the book:

“All of us can write. Few of us know how to work at writing. And even fewer of us know how to sculpt our lives so we can write. These are learned skills, acquired through time and practice.”

 mjc-Louise DeSalvo

Worth picking up and leafing through… or reading very carefully, depending on your mood. I’m reading it slowly and methodically, between hits of Sylvia Plath, Sufi poets, Erich Fromm and Salman Rushdie… from which you can infer that it’s not exactly not-put-downable–so yes, a bit of a textbook feel to it at times–but there is a lot of of really excellent content inside, so I’m willing to stay with it even when it does not entrance.

But, I need to abandon it for some poetry in-between.

mjc

P.S. You know what? I bet you want to glance through the table of contents before making a commitment to even google for its availability. Yeah? I’m so good to you:

Preface / p. xi
Introduction: The Art of Slow Writing /p. xv

Part 1 Getting Ready to Write
Introduction / p. 3
1 Learning How to Work at Writing / p. 7
2 Finding Our Own Rhythm / p. 11
3 Where to Begin / p. 15
4 Routine / p. 19
5 Tools of the Trade / p. 23
6 A Writer’s Mise en Place / p. 28
7 Deliberate Practice / p. 33
8 Writing and Real Life / p. 38
9 Raw Material / p. 43
10 Walking and Inspiration / p. 48

Part 2 A Writer’s Apprenticeship
Introduction / p. 55
11 Apprenticeship / p. 59
12 Writing Outside and Elsewhere / p. 63
13 Process Journal / p. 67
14 Patience, Humility, and Respect / p. 71
15 Learning How to Learn / p. 76
16 Labor and Management / p. 81
17 Game Plan / p. 85
18 No Excuses / p. 89
19 Writing Rehab / p. 94
20 A Writer’s Notebook / p. 98
21 The Creative Act / p. 102
22 Support for Our Work / p. 106
23 Radical Work Takes Time / p. 111

Part 3 Challenges and Successes
Introduction / p. 117
24 Failure in the Middle / p. 121
25 Doubt / p. 125
26 Writing as Collaboration / p. 129
27 Creative Problem Solving / p. 134
28 Rejection Letters / p. 139
29 Hailstorms / p. 144
30 Turning the Corner / p. 148
31 Practice Deciding / p. 152
32 Successful Outcomes / p. 157
33 Ship’s Log / p. 162
34 What Worked and Why / p. 167

Part 4 Writers at Rest
Introduction / p. 175
35 Dreaming and Daydreaming / p. 179
36 Dumbstruck / p. 184
37 Taking a Break / p. 188
38 Why I’m a Writer Who Cooks / p. 192
39 Slow Reading / p. 196
40 Fresh Air / p. 200
41 Waiting for an Answer / p. 204
42 A New Perspective / p. 208
43 What’s in Your Drawer? / p. 212

Part 5 Building a Book, Finishing a Book
Introduction / p. 219
44 How Long Does It Take? / p. 223
45 Over Time / p. 227
46 Architecture and Design / p. 231
47 Turning Pages into Book / p. 235
48 Structuring Our Work / p. 239
49 The Second Sleeve / p. 243
50 Tied Up in Knots / p. 247
51 Writing Partners / p. 251
52 Revision / p. 255
53 The Toughest Choice / p. 259
54 Self-Censorship / p. 263
55 The Finish Line / p. 267

Epilogue: Beginning Again
Sources / p. 277
Acknowledgments / p. 305

-30-

About mjanecolette

Writer. Reader. Angster. Reformed Bohemian (not). Author of the erotic romance Tell Me (Harper Collins, 2015), the erotic tragedy (with a happy ending) Consequences (of defensive adultery) (coming May 2 2017), and the rom-com (she's versatile) Cherry Pie Cure (releasing June 15, 2017), as well as the non-fiction collection of essays Rough Draft Confessions: not a guide to writing and selling erotica and romance but full of inside inside anyway (GENRES were made to be BROKEN, 2017). Closet poet. Currently torturing novels four, five, and six simultaneously. Which is not a good idea.

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