Making a Literary Life: Advice for Writers and Other Dreamers, by Carolyn See

I enjoyed this book, because See has a sense of humor that struck home with me. Her writing is straightforward, though I think a new edition might address some of the newer forms of writing (such as blogging). And though she gives some excellent advice, I felt like a dose of salt was in order all the same.

For example, I love the advice to write four pages a day (meaning long-hand). A book I read a month or so ago got me dusting off my pens and finding the joy in writing long-hand, and See gave me a quantity. But, for me, the lick of salt comes with the reality of my life. It’s easy for someone authoring a book to dole out advice – be it writing, mothering, or living. As a reader, though, I often find I need to remember that, like most recipes, what’s written isn’t as much an instruction manual as it is a jumping-off point, a place to begin, a way to get inspired and motivated.

And that’s what this book did for me – it motivated me to take myself seriously even as I know that scribbling I do is for God and me (as Karen said so beautifully the other day). But, by “seriously,” I don’t mean that I have changed my poking-fun-of-me-at-every-chance approach. No, I mean it verified what I had suspected (and what many others already knew about me), and I’m OK with that. 🙂