“The Courage to Write”  by Ralph Keyes

BOOK INSPIRED STORY BELOW

 

Written by READER Charm Baker

 

About the Book

 

Book Link:  http://amzn.to/2jp93vg 

Book Genre:  Publishing & Books, Authorship

 

The Courage to Write is an invaluable book and essential reading for anyone who wishes to learn how to write well.

 

Katherine Anne Porter called courage "the first essential" for a writer. "I have to talk myself into bravery with every sentence," agreed Cynthia Ozick, "sometimes every syllable." E. B. White said he admired anyone who "has the guts to write anything at all."An author who has taught writing for more than thirty years.

 

In The Courage to Write, Ralph Keyes, an author who has taught writing for more than thirty years, assures us that anxiety is felt by writers at every level, especially when they dare to do their best. He describes the sequence of "courage points" through which all writers must pass, from the challenge of identifying a worthwhile project to the mixture of pride and panic they feel when examining a newly published book or article.

 

Keyes also offers specifics on how to root out dread of public "performance" and of the judgment of family and friends, make the best use of writers' workshops and conferences, and handle criticism of works in progress. Throughout, he includes the comments of many accomplished writers -- Pat Conroy, Amy Tan, Rita Dove, Isabel Allende, and others -- on how they transcended their own fears to produce great works.

 

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READER

Charm Baker, Los Angeles Calif.

 

Blog:  http://skippingchildhood.blogspot.com

Twitter:  @charmbaker

 

 

 

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Here’s How this Book Inspired ME

 

My Drive and Determination to Write

Whenever I’m asked or reminded about how I became a writer, my mind instantly goes to Ralph Keyes, my first writer friend.  Of course, I never had the pleasure of actually meeting Mr. Keyes, but when I began reading his book over 25 years ago, I got to know him pretty well.  In fact, it was him and his book that helped me realize I wasn’t completely in sane. 

 

At the time, I already had an inkling of an idea that I might want to be a writer, and I’d been testing the waters and actually started writing what turned out to be a novella.  When I submitted the manuscript to a New York editor as a novel, I was told (among other things) that it was too short for a novel.  They also laid out their list of prerequisites for “leading male” characters in the romance novels they accepted; of which mine didn’t make the cut.  Anyway, by the time I recovered from that whole ordeal, I was feeling kind of bummed about writing, not to mention I found myself battling self-defeating attitudes about my capabilities, and about my “stick-to-it-ness.”  Then, there were other fears, like the fear of being too real in your writing, in case you accidentally manage to expose yourself and your true feelings to the world. 

 

These were the kinds of mind crippling thoughts that I was having, with respect to my writing, that is, right up until I read “The Courage to Write.  Can you imagine my surprise when I read things that sounded like Ralph had actually plucked them right out of my own thoughts.  The whole book was like I had spilled my guts about every single challenge to my writing, both mentally and otherwise.  The book even talked about a lot of the ridiculous rituals that we writers go through before we finally settle in for a session of writing.  There were lots of quirky, even laughable routines quoted in the book from other writers.  That’s another thing that was so inspiring to me, the many personal comments and experiences of other writers who were quoted in the book.  They all sounded like me, with the same woes and worries about writing.  Prior to reading this book, I thought I was losing my mind with all the high “Hi’s” and the low “Lows” you experience from writing.  My insane rituals, routines and occassional meltdowns didn’t mean that I was really crazy, it all meant that I was really a writer!

 

This book provided the kind of inspiration that I didn’t even know I was lacking.  It helped me understand my writing self much better, and above all, showed me that even though writing is a solitary activity, in the writing community, you’re never alone.

 

 

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