Saturday, February 21, 2009

Writing Past Dark by Bonnie Friedman (14/81)

C1993 146pages 1 star

I had trouble staying with this book and almost didn't finish it at all. It failed to engage me and at times I struggled to remember what topic the chapters were written about. I've tried to pin down exactly what bothered me and have failed to express it adequately. When it comes down to it, I was looking to be inspired, maybe learn a little, and this book did neither for me. I would recommend Stephen King's On Writing instead.

The only paragraph that resonated with me:

"To gain the book one must give up all hope for the book. It is the only way the book can get written. While one writes one cannot simultaneously be gazing up at a glorious, abstract painting of what the book should be, a painting that is all golden glow and admirable wordless heft conveying a sense of a book like a bible, like your very own bible, penned by you - and at the same time expect to be advancing into the body of this particular earthy book. It won't work. You may gaze and gaze, but you may be sure that when you begin to write, that gorgeous ineffable volume will not coalesce on the page. Something else will appear. And then you have a choice. You can accept it, and get on with your writing, or you can throw it away, and pine for the painting. It is so beautiful! When you're not actually writing, you have the feeling it would be so simple to get it down on paper. Yet when the time comes, your sentences tangle you. They knot and seethe, grasping like desperate children, hampering you and making you fall so that the beautiful book, the infinite book, is forever out of reach."

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Thanks for that quote! I shared it on my blog.