Illustrating the joy and pain of the creative process, the best-selling author of A Book of Angels offers a collection of anecdotes and quotations about the often eccentric work habits of writers from Tolstoy to John Irving.
If only it were as easy for most writers as it was for Stendhal. The truth about the act of writing is much more varied, even violent. In fact, there seem to be as many contradictory admonitions about how to go about doing it as there are writers themselves.With that in mind, writer Sophy Burnham has collected the thoughts of some of the greatest writers and laced them with her own observations and experiences of the writer's life. With an emphasis on the emotions that writing wrings from those who practice it, Burnham writes about beginning a work prematurely, the ecstasy when the writing is really flowing, the crash that can follow the flight - and how to pick yourself up and continue.Here you will find the motto Zola kept in his workroom ("No day without lines"), where Agatha Christie plotted her books (in the bathtub eating apples), and what James Thurber's wife replied when a dinner guest observed a strange expression on her husband's face ("Don't be concerned. He's only writing"). Most of all, you will be reassured, enlightened, and inspired to learn that, in your own writing struggles, you are not alone.