Customer Reviews for

The Writing Life

Average Rating 3.5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 11 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2003

    "I Was Wrestling Inside a Sentence..."

    Skills are those little beasts we have conquered, tamed into submission, and made our own, but instinct¿ that is that inner whisper that will not be quiet, even when we beg. It points us toward the light, every time. Its sound raises the little hairs on the back of our necks. Even when we choose not to listen - it speaks, it taunts with its truth. Annie Dillard is, to me, as a writer, as a woman, very much like that inner whisper of truth. She points me to the light, every time. Her words raise the little hairs on the back of my neck. When my creativity runs bone dry, I pick up a Dillard book ¿ and The Writing Life is almost always first off my shelf ¿ and I hear that whisper again. And oh, how delicious, to know that a writer such as Dillard can run just as bone dry, be just as tormented a writer¿s soul as the ¿common¿ rest of us.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2007

    A Writers Gift to Us

    The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard, published in 1989 with 111 pages of large font text is an easy read. It has weathered the almost two decades since it's first issue simply fine. It consists of six chapters which I've roughly titled: What writing is about, Where we write, The writing life, Writing a book, Being stuck, and The writer as an artist. Chapter four, clearly headlined: 'SORRY TO TELL YOU A DREAM!' is two quick pages, and I, having not understood the heading, thought it was a very strange chapter indeed. In 2004, I began my reviews in the belief that reviewers should actually read the book they are writing about and delineate enough of the work so that their readers might have a good idea whether they'd like it enough to purchase it, rather than issue some vague verbiage almost always in an effort to promote sales of the book. With that in mind, and never having been a pleaser 'unless it involves my paycheck' I can tell you that I am simply unworthy to critique Ms. Dillard's work. I read chapters one and two gasping with my mouth locked wide open, shaking my head at the incredible word work of Annie D. while flinging my caffeinated saliva about the coffee shop. I drained so much of my pink highlighter on those pages, that I almost was forced to borrow a 1400 watt hair-dryer from the salon next door to blow them dry. As it is, the book, wetted from such frequent highlighting, almost appears as if it had been left out in the rain. Which in this Sonoran Desert is as rare as writing as good as her's is. Thankfully by chapter three, the author backs off and begins putting down sentences as if she indeed is someone born on this planet. Had that not happened, I am fairly sure I would have built an alter and begun worshiping the unseen artist of the text. While the book is certainly more of a biography than a how-to-write primer, I cannot imagine any person who enjoys writing and wishes to learn more about the craft not gaining buckets of insight, a few smiles and a handful of touching moments from The Writer's Life.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2006

    not worth it

    I found it to be pretentious and boring. Dillard went off on many tangents that had nothing to do with writing, and the book is barely 100 pages.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2005

    Strictly for Writers

    While I enjoyed deciphering this book and all of its hidden/implied meanings, the intended audience is definitely writers themselves. I saw no inspiration/motivation in this book for life in general. The focus is on steps you should take as you author a literary work. Sometimes the sense of humor of Annie Dillard just did not amuse me. I recommend this book to those who wish to be writers in the future or are currently working on something of their own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2012

    In this scattering of personal reflections and insights on her l

    In this scattering of personal reflections and insights on her life as a writer, Dillard ponders the emotional angst common to many writers. Yet she weaves nuggets of humor throughout. “Why people want to be writers I will never know, unless it is that their lives lack a material footing.”
    She reflects on authors who clutch tightly ideas which no longer work in their manuscript, yet the writer is loathe to give up: “How many books do we read from which the writer lacked courage to tie off the umbilical cord…Is it pertinent, is it courteous, for us to learn what it cost the writer personally?”
    While defining writing as just “a line of words”, Dillard ponders the inchworm: “It wears out its days in constant panic…The wretched inchworm hangs from the sides of a grass blade and throws its head around from side to side, seeming to wail. What? No further…End of world?” “'Why don’t you just jump?’ I tell it, disgusted. ‘Put yourself out of your misery.’”
    Writers often lament distractions which keep us from sitting in the chair to write. Dillard scolds, “If you were a Zulu warrior banging on your shield with your spear for a couple of hours along with a hundred other Zulu warriors, you might be able to prepare yourself to write.”
    I found this book to be worth a read and enjoyed Dillard's ability to laugh at herself; A worthy trait, lest we take ourselves too seriously.

    I give The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

    4 STARS **** Good book–ask for it at your local library.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

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