My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Writers process life through the persistent act of writing. So reading writers on writing is tantamount to reading about intentional living. Intentional because writers, like the rest of us, have to create rhythms of life in order to fulfill their commitment to their craft.
Shapiro’s book comes in three true-to-life parts – beginnings, middles, and ends.
“We show up—for life, for writing. We act like brave people, even when we don’t feel like brave people.”
“And so we must ask ourselves: Are we feeling with our minds? Thinking with our hearts? Making every empathic leap we can? Are we witnesses to the world around us? Are we climbing on the shoulders of those who paved the way for us? Are we using every last bit of ourselves, living these lives of ours, spending it, spending it all, every single day?”
“The mess is holy. What we inherit – and how we come to understand what we inherit – is all we have to work with. There is beauty in what is.”
“We – none of us – are ever clichés. We are the sum total of our stories.”
“But I’ve come to believe that normal is overrated – for artists, for everyone.”
And for those who write – or create anything of any kind – the last page is a terrific rant on the creative life. But – I say this for those, like me, who read the last page first – this is a last page you really want to save for the end.