Friday, January 27, 2012

Writing & Living Authentically: A Review of WORDSMITHY by Douglas Wilson

Photo Credit: Canon Press

The key to a great writing life is living a life that's worth writing about. This is one of the many reminders about the writing life that Douglas Wilson gives in his short and insightful book WORDSMITHY. There is an inherent temptation for some writers to live almost exclusively inside your own imagination. After all, it's pretty interesting up there. But genuine art has to connect with real life. It's our real-life experiences that inform the many creative ideas for our writing. So Douglas Wilson calls writers to live an authentic life, learn from it, and let it inspire story ideas.

Wilson offers a total of seven practical and helpful tips for the writing life …
1. Know something about the world
2. Read
3. Read mechanical helps
4. Stretch before your routines
5. Be at peace with being lousy for a while
6. Learn other languages
7. Keep a commonplace book

After a brief introduction of the seven tips in the introduction, Wilson begins to unpack each of the tips by giving us seven sub-tips. Knowing something about the world is about living the authentic life. Wilson echoes what perhaps the world's most well-known writer Stephen King says about the writing life in telling us to read a lot. In fact, Wilson encourages us to read a wide variety of books because even the things that we don't remember shape us and inform our personal writing style. Wilson also echoes King in telling us to write a lot. The more a writer writes, the better he gets.

WORDSMITHY is about growing and improving as a writer. Wilson writes with a very personable style as one who clearly practices what he's suggesting. WORDSMITHY is a short, but incredibly helpful guide to becoming a better writer.

I received this book for free from Canon Press

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