The Art of Slow Writing: Reflections on Time, Craft, and Creativity

Book review by Deane Barker tags: writing

Loved this book. Just loved it.

It’s a series of short essays on the often tortured art of writing. There are at almost 50 chapters, and in each, the author writes about some specific aspect of the struggle of writing, and how it’s a skill and discipline which develops over time.

It turns out that novels take years to write. Authors quit, start again, destroy, create, and sometimes abandon. Writing is messy and imperfect. Often it’s never great, just good enough. For the writer, it can always be a process of settling, which can be maddening.

As a writer finishing my first (non-fiction) book, I identified with so much in this book. The author talks about the self-doubt, the sometimes painful decision to be finished, the problem of self-censoring, the sometimes Herculean act of revision, and on and on.

The aggregate effect is that the author has accurately defined writing as what it is: work; a craft. Something to be practiced, analyzed, labored over, disciplined. It is something that takes time to learn, and time to practice. It is as much an emotional experience as a professional one.

Writing is hard. If you ever think it’s too hard, read this book. You’ll understand that you are not alone, and the goal is to simply pick yourself up and carry on.

Book Info

Louise DeSalvo
  • I have read this book. According to my records, I completed it on .
  • A softcover copy of this book is currently in my home library.

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