The Art of Slow Writing by Louise DeSalvo
St Martin’s Press, 2014
“The reflections in The Art of Slow Writing are an invitation for us to think about specific techniques we can use to enter the slow writing life; find ways to deal with the emotional pitfalls—fear, anxiety, judgment, self-doubt—that inevitably accompany our work; delve into what it means to live a healthy and productive creative life; and celebrate our tenacity and our accomplishments.”
De Salvo’s “The Art of Slow Writing” is a kind of “Take my hand, and I’ll show you how this thing called writing works.” It’s not like any of the thousands of writing books that trick you into thinking it’s one thing and then ends up being that paint-by-number writing book that rehashes the elements of writing.
De Salvo uses scores of useful examples from many writers, stellar and as yet unknown, to describe what challenges we can expect from a writing life, and she then expounds on how these writers have developed techniques to help them in their quest to provide the best possible manuscripts.
Writing is not an exact science, but its unwieldy bits and challenges can become manageable and we can achieve good writing, by being curious, and measured and mindful about what it is we, as writers, want to say. De Salvo shows how we might manage this writing life in the book’s five parts: Getting Ready to Write, A Writer’s Apprenticeship, Challenges and Successes, Writers at Rest, and Building a Book, Finishing a Book.
This book should be on every writer’s bookshelf, especially new writers, who have a lot to gain from Da Salvo, who is an experienced teacher and much published author herself.
Rating: For being book that delivers what it promises, I give this book 4.5 stars.
My favourite thing: Lots of practical tools that you can print out and use.