9780931432217 / 0931432219

Anybody Can Write: A Playful Approach


Publisher:New World Library



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About the book:

This cheerful little book is full of sensible reminders concerning what its author, Roberta Jean Bryant, calls the "trial-and-error-and-error-and-error process of writing." Bryant does not make light of the difficulties of writing; rather, she believes that if you actually manage to have fun at it, "you'll be more likely to have a deeper experience." Bryant's approach may be playful, but she has her own quiet way of whipping her readers into shape. Toward the beginning of Anybody Can Write, she provides a method for assessing how much of one's writing energy actually goes into writing. "Dreaming of being a writer," she warns, " not writing. Thinking about writing is not writing. Getting excited by ideas for stories, plotting out a book in your head, reading about writing--none of these is writing.... Writing is putting words on paper."

Bryant guides her readers from first draft ("a time ... to fingerpaint with words") through rewrites and feedback--"you know you've received good advice," she says, "when, after hearing it, you wish you'd thought of it yourself, or you have a spontaneous and genuine desire to try it out." And she discusses how--if you so desire--to get published (the secret, she says, "is to have the right manuscript on the right desk at the right time"). "Anybody Can Write" leans toward the inspirational, but it is not cloying. Bryant may be trying to embrace and encourage all would-be writers, but she does not invite mediocrity. "Aim to go beyond ordinary limits with your writing," she intones. "Remember that a laborer is someone who works with his hands, a craftsperson is someone who works with his hands and head, but an artist is someone who works with his hands, head, and heart." Oh, yes--and "begin now." --Jane Steinberg

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