The Writer's Mentor: A Guide to Putting Passion on Paper by Cathleen Rountree | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Writer's Mentor: A Guide to Putting Passion on Paper

The Writer's Mentor: A Guide to Putting Passion on Paper

by Cathleen Rountree
     
 

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In question-and-answer format, The Writer's Mentor addresses the most common dilemmas of writers, such as How do I get ideas for writing? What should I do when I'm stuck and staring at a blank page? How do I achieve a state of "flow" in my writing? Cathleen Rountree responds to these questions by sharing her own experiences as well as the writing secrets of famous

Overview

In question-and-answer format, The Writer's Mentor addresses the most common dilemmas of writers, such as How do I get ideas for writing? What should I do when I'm stuck and staring at a blank page? How do I achieve a state of "flow" in my writing? Cathleen Rountree responds to these questions by sharing her own experiences as well as the writing secrets of famous literary figures. Included are tips from Mark Twain, Arthur Miller, Margaret Atwood, Natalie Goldberg, Virginia Woolf, Tennessee Williams, Maya Angelou, and scores of others. Each selection ends with a feature called "The Writer's Mentor Suggests," which gives listeners concrete suggestions about the topic.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781573245708
Publisher:
Red Wheel/Weiser
Publication date:
03/28/2002
Pages:
273
Product dimensions:
7.10(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.76(d)

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Read an Excerpt

The highlight of the evening�s events at the March 2001 Academy Awards ceremony was Stephen Soderbergh�s acceptance speech for the Best Director Award for the film Traffic. But his words became less of a speech when he steered attention away from himself and graciously projected it back to the nearly 1 billion viewers that night, saying that he shared the Oscar with artists, writers, actors, dancers, and "anyone who spends part of their day creating," because "without art this world would be unlivable." When I heard those words a powerful emotion welled up in my throat. And, even as I write them here, the feeling repeats itself, and I realize that it has now become a memory in my body.

Later that year, in my graduate program, I took a course titled "Cultural Mythologies II," which was taught by Dr. Dennis Slattery. Our assigned reading was Dante�s Divina Commedia, and my school�s three-month-long quarter system offered a natural division of parts for the reading of the Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. On September 10, we spent six hours When that membrane between art and life, fiction and reality, evaporates, as it seemingly did for many of us on September 11, one is stunned by the unexpected power of this psychological crossover. It has infinite dimension, and feels something like opening the door to a room in your home and stepping into an M. C. Escher drawing in which hands draw themselves, stairways lead nowhere, and fish transmute into birds. I had spent much of the preceding day reflecting on an imagined Inferno, but on that morning I awakened to a living inferno.

My friend Madeleine, with whom I was staying in Ventura, bounded into my room at around 5:55 a.m., and, for an imperturbable Swedish national, conveyed an uncommon urgency. Even if one did not witness the carnage and destruction on television as it happened, the subsequent relentless replaying of the images the airliners lunging into the mesh and glass belly of the World Trade Center, the violence of the incendiary eruption, the unthinkable avalanche of 110 floors, twice What�s the point?" In a writing class I taught at the UCLA Writer�s Program in mid-October, one of my students perfectly articulated this state when she said to the other students and me, "As a novice it�s hard enough to keep my momentum up for writing, but now I feel totally incapacitated." Around that time, a stricken Joan Didion on the Charlie Rose show said, "I don�t think any writer in America didn�t feel the day it happened that everything they were working on was in some way irrelevant. And then you start finding ways in which to deepen your understanding of what you were doing it�s a new level."

On September 11, Steven Soderbergh�s words, "Without art this world would be unlivable," took on an entirely new significance. At first I began to write in my journal my thoughts, fears, anxieties

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