I just finished reading this book, and I just loved it! It's a very quick read, and the humor throughout the book will keep you reading. It is a practical book for writers with many great tips and pointers and some fantastic quotes. This is a book about how to write books. Every hopeful writer should read this book.
Here are a few of the notable quotes I really appreciated. I've limited it to ones from Benson. I would love to share many of the quotes he used from other writers. They were so inspirational. But you'll have to read the book and find those for yourself.
"Write for those you love; if you make them happy, they will tell someone how challenged or refreshed or empowered or reflective your words make them feel.
"They will be gentle with you when you show them the work, of course, because they love you. They will also be the ones who let you know if your words are honest and true, and when they are not.
"They may not be the most critical readers, but they will be the most important, because they will be the ones who keep you writing." (p. 485 in kindle edition)
He refers to this group of people as your jury. I love the idea that we need to have a jury that will encourage us in our writing, and who will also keep us honest and authentic.
Later in the book he says, "Good writing needs time for the texture of the words to develop, for the momentum to build, word upon word, sentence upon sentence, scene upon scene, story upon story. A little air between sessions at the writing desk allows for each day's work to be greeted with a fresh eye and a full tank. Allowing the words to live there on the page for a while without being rushed off to the next stage too soon can help the writer when he comes to the pages again.
"Time is the actual currency of the speed-worshiping age in which we live and write and have our being. And time is the currency with which we write our sentences and stories. Hurry is not a proper posture for a writer." (p. 546 in Kindle Edition).
Benson writes in an entertaining and humorous way while sharing practical pointers throughout the book. He shares his personal experiences and what he has learned from many mentors.
One other point Benson makes is, "A direct relationship exists between the caliber of the writing you read and the caliber of the writing you make." (P. 708 in Kindle Edition).
"Write, don't talk.
"Books are meant to be written and then discussed. The other way round can be deadly." (p. 1038 in Kindle Edition).
The point is that we can talk ourselves out of writing about an idea we discuss to much. We must focus on writing first and talking about it later. Such great advice and a good warning for a newer writer!
At the end of the book Benson lists all the books he has found meaningful and helpful in his career. It's like opening a treasure chest having all those recommendations in one place.
I love that this book is short. Benson gives his idea and anecdotes and moves on to the next topic. It would make a great gift for someone starting their writing career. Benson is practical, creative, inspirational, and wise. It's like getting to sit and learn from someone who knows the ropes of the writer's life.
The book is available here.
Relish the Thought
Relishing something means to take your time to enjoy and savor the flavors of something. That's what I am doing here.