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The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life

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Overview

Going beyond the typical "how to write" book, The Mindful Writer illuminates the creative process: where writing and creativity originate, how mindfulness plays into work, how to cultivate good writing habits, how to grow as a writer and a person, and what it means to live a life dedicated to the craft of writing. There's not a writer alive, novice or master, who will not benefit from this book and fall in love with it. Cover to cover, this wise little book is riveting and ...

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The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life

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Overview

Going beyond the typical "how to write" book, The Mindful Writer illuminates the creative process: where writing and creativity originate, how mindfulness plays into work, how to cultivate good writing habits, how to grow as a writer and a person, and what it means to live a life dedicated to the craft of writing. There's not a writer alive, novice or master, who will not benefit from this book and fall in love with it. Cover to cover, this wise little book is riveting and delightful.

The Mindful Writer will be a book that readers will turn to again and again as a source inspiration, guidance, and support.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Advice books for writers are a dime a dozen but Moore (Crafting the Personal Essay) provides a fresh approach with this melding of Buddhist teachings and sage career and life lessons for those who devote their lives to the written word. Built upon the concept of mindfulness—the total concentration and openness to what’s in front of you—Moore divides the book into four sections (just as there are four noble truths in Buddhism). “The Writer’s Mind” focuses on the nature of creativity; “The Writer’s Desk” on how mindfulness is at work during the act of putting words on paper; “The Writer’s Vision” on nurturing good writing habits; and “The Writer’s Life,” or what it means to be a writer out in the world. Structured as a series of quotes—primarily from artists and from Buddhist monks—followed by Moore’s reflections, each short passage is illuminating on its own and as part of a larger whole. Some quotes will be familiar to seasoned wordsmiths, such as Rainer Maria Rilke’s invocation that writers must write or else they will die, but it’s lesser known nuggets of wisdom, coupled with Moore’s never patronizing advice that ring true. From Faulkner’s “kill your darlings” (cutting words is a necessary evil) to Pema Chödrön’s observation that clinging too hard to something “makes you unavailable to hear anything new,” this is a compact book of practical and philosophical truths for both novice and veteran writers. (May)
From the Publisher

"Advice books for writers are a dime a dozen but Moore provides a fresh approach with this melding of Buddhist teachings and sage career and life lessons for those who devote their lives to the written word...this is a compact book of practical and philosophical truths for both novice and veteran writers." —Publishers Weekly

“Small but powerful—a welcome addition to many writers’ desks, and an inspiring and supportive gift.” —ForeWord

"Pithy and thoughtful."—Shambhala Sun

"The Mindful Writer is a strong pick for anyone who wants to make sure they are writing with their heart in it, very much recommended."—Midwest Book Review

"There is something fresh and undeniably appealing about these bite-sized morsels, which expand the writer's experience to a broader, human one." —The Writer Magazine

"The Mindful Writer will remind us to offer a note of gratitude each time we reach the end of our writing sessions, having discovered words on the page that we never saw before."—Wordswimmer blog

"In short, The Mindful Writer is an indispensable title for anyone who wants to better understand the relationship between writing and mindfulness." —Buddhist Book Reviews

"Never be without it—as reference, as balm, as talisman; to refresh, encourage, comfort, and instruct. It's a trove of treasures. Professor Moore—insightful, funny, and true—cheers us on like the teacher and friend he is." —The Gamut

"A merciful rendition of the basics of meditation transposed onto the craft of writing. Useful for anyone engaged in a long term creative endeavor, or indeed dealing with the inner game of life. Moore demonstrates how living with integrity, honesty and an inquiring spirit actually bring solace to the heart." —Kate Wheeler, editor of Nixon Under the Bodhi Tree and Other Works of Buddhist Fiction

"Thought provoking and inspiring." —Martine Batchelor, author of Let Go

“I’ve been carrying this small, powerful book with me wherever I go. It’s a stellar companion that keeps me on track, in writing and in life.” —Brenda Miller, author of Listening Against the Stone and co-author of The Pen and the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World

“Some books are a sheer pleasure to read. This one is a treasure of insights and beautifully worded ideas. It's also brief and handy. There's no reason to deny yourself this treat, whether you're a writer or a reader. The Mindful Writer will find its place on my shelf of writer's guides and inspirations." —Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul

“I recommend this book to anyone interested in the written word.” -Lin Jensen, author of Deep Down Things, Pavement, and Bad Dog!

“Three cheers—and three bows—to Dinty W. Moore’s Mindful Writer!"—Rafe Martin, author of Endless Path and The Banyan Deer

“I’ve read a hundred writing books, but this one is fresh.” —Mary Pipher, author of Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World

“Dinty W. Moore has collected some very telling nudges from a range of fine writers, and tilted them in a lightly Buddhist angle of reflection to catch the light of your own desire to write.” —Susan Murphy, author of Upside-Down Zen

“What a relief! Dinty W. Moore shares practical strategies that help writers cultivate peace of mind and write better prose. Moore’s light, insightful and prescient commentary is a potent antidote for writer's angst and a welcome companion for an otherwise lonely activity. Read on, then write!” —Deborah Schoberlein, author of Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness

“Dinty W. Moore has put together a pocket-size collection of quotes from figures who have spent years or decades writing their hearts out. Even seasoned, dog-eared writers and old Buddhist foxes will learn a trick or two. For the writer just setting forth, this book may be the best companion you could find.” —Andrew Schelling, Naropa University editor of The Wisdom Anthology of North American Buddhist Poetry

“Moore condenses an entire library of writing advice into sixty deft lessons. I will urge this wise, kind, slender volume on all of my students.” —Heather Sellers, author of The Practice of Creative Writing

"The Mindful Writer will help you to keep faith in writing, to keep laying down word after word when it feels impossible." —Writing Our Way Home

"A beautiful little book." —Arnold Kozak, author of Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants

"Moore understands the joy that comes with writing well, and this book does a lot to nurture writing minds. My advice is to have it next to your laptop or pen and paper and open it whenever you hit a wall and want a helping hand to understand." —Wrong Like Right

The Writer Magazine
"There is something fresh and undeniably appealing about these bite-sized morsels, which expand the writer's experience to a broader, human one."
Buddhist Book Reviews
"In short, The Mindful Writer is an indispensable title for anyone who wants to better understand the relationship between writing and mindfulness."
The Gamut
"Never be without it—as reference, as balm, as talisman; to refresh, encourage, comfort, and instruct. It's a trove of treasures. Professor Moore—insightful, funny, and true—cheers us on like the teacher and friend he is."
Brenda Miller
"I've been carrying this small, powerful book with me wherever I go. It's a stellar companion that keeps me on track, in writing and in life."
Thomas Moore
"Some books are a sheer pleasure to read. This one is a treasure of insights and beautifully worded ideas. It's also brief and handy. There's no reason to deny yourself this treat, whether you're a writer or a reader. The Mindful Writer will find its place on my shelf of writer's guides and inspirations."
Lin Jensen
"I recommend this book to anyone interested in the written word."
Deborah Schoberlein
"What a relief! Dinty W. Moore shares practical strategies that help writers cultivate peace of mind and write better prose. Moore's light, insightful and prescient commentary is a potent antidote for writer's angst and a welcome companion for an otherwise lonely activity. Read on, then write!"
Heather Sellers
"Moore condenses an entire library of writing advice into sixty deft lessons. I will urge this wise, kind, slender volume on all of my students."
Writing Our Way Home
"The Mindful Writer will help you to keep faith in writing, to keep laying down word after word when it feels impossible."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781614290070
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 4/10/2012
  • Pages: 152
  • Sales rank: 323,821
  • Product dimensions: 4.82 (w) x 6.54 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Dinty W. Moore is author of The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life, as well as the memoir Between Panic and Desire, winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize in 2009. Moore has published essays and stories in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Harpers, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Crazyhorse, among numerous other venues. A professor of nonfiction writing at Ohio University, Moore lives in Athens, Ohio, where he grows heirloom tomatoes and edible dandelions.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 6, 2012

    A Fresh Look at the Artistic Impulse

    Love this part: "Why do we write? Yes, there are days that the answer might be as shallow as 'I want to see my name in the table of contents of The Paris Review' or 'I want to be one of those smart people interviewed in a magazine and then show that magazine to my older sisters who always implied that I was too dim-witted to accomplish anything.' But those reasons will not sustain a writer, certainly not through the inevitable rejection, the agonizing dry spells, the stinging eyeballs and tired brain cells that come halfway through a book project."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted May 8, 2012

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    Posted April 27, 2012

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