Wednesday, June 09, 2010

For Writers: A Few Good Books


We began our retreat days together with devotions that included inspiration from Baha’i prayers and passages, as well as selections from writers about writing. Then we went our separate ways, each one finding just the right spot to settle in for an uninterrrupted spell of writing. Here you see Paul and Anne, who staked out different corners of the Green Acre parlor.

Paul Bellefeuille: “Coming together brought a united spirit of working toward a common goal. . . . to inspire one another and to discover what makes us do our best work. Sharing our progress at the end of the day helped feed that spirited feeling.”

Anne Jennison: “The environment that Phyllis created for our writers' retreat at Green Acre was so supportive and productive that I'm still glowing from the experience! It was incredibly affirming to be received so respectfully into a community of diverse, creative, and spiritually-centered writers - whose work I view with the utmost respect.”

One enrichment in our retreat environment was a table of books about writing – Phyllis Ring’s recommended resources to explore. As we develop our craft and our writer selves, reading what other writers have to share can be a kind of mentoring. We seem to resonate with those elements that speak to our individual writer needs at any particular time. Rob and I, for example, were attracted to different titles.

These were Rob's favorite picks:
On Writing by Stephen King
Manuscript Makeover: Revision Techniques No Fiction Writer Can Afford to Ignore by Elizabeth Lyon
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print by Renni Brown & David King

These were my favorite picks:
The Daily Writer: 366 Meditations to Cultivate a Productive and Meaningful Writing Life by Fred White
Deep Writing: 7 Principles that Bring Ideas to Life by Eric Maisel

Since I write creative nonfiction I have also added these excellent resources to my writer library:
Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writer's Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University - Editted by Mark Kramer and Wendy Hall
Now Write! Nonfiction: Memoir, Journalism and Creative Nonfiction Exercises from Today's Best Writers - Edited by Sherry Ellis

Most of these title links have Amazon's Look Inside feature, so you can check them out for yourself.  Rob and I decided these titles are good enough to add to our own writer library at home. Of course, one of the perks of being married to a writer is that we get to share stuff.

Phyllis Ring, who has published widely as a free-lancer and more recently as a book author, also reads widely about the craft of writing. Phyllis really works the Knowledge domain of the Paradigm for Sustained Creativity! I asked Phyllis to share a little about her own writing process at the retreat. It’s always interesting to get a glimpse inside another writer’s process. Find it in my next post.

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