I am so happy to bring my first book review to the Waterworld Mermaids’ lagoon immediately after posting on the problem of Fear. Being a writer who spends way too much time worrying about not writing, I am always hoping to find words of wisdom that might help me embrace my craft.
The Productive Writer, by Sage Cohen, is one book in my arsenal. Ms Cohen writes as both a business professional and a poet. She believes, as she states early in her introduction, that productivity is a lifestyle choice. I used this book extensively last winter, carrying it in my satchel and dipping into it for reading on my train rides to and from the Bronx each weekday morning. I could dip into a chapter (“Transforming Your Realtionship with Time,” or “Writing in the Margins of a Full-Time Life”, among others) and meditate on ten or so pages. Even if I only scanned the headings of part of a chapter, I felt comforted and reinvigorated, ready to face the task ahead. Productive Writer remains at my elbow here at home most days. After Thursday’s post and responses, I think it needs to go back in my satchel.
Last Saturday, I was the lucky winner of Hillary Rettig’s The 7 Secrets of the Prolific. I’d just been treated to a presentation from this speaker at a CTRWA monthly meeting, and was thrilled to know that I would be taking her wisdom home with me. Ms. Rettig writes that, yes, writers procrastinate for many reasons. She takes time to examine perfectionism, resource constraints, time constraints, bias, internalized oppression and exploitation, just to scratch the surface. In discussing these, she seeks to help us change our inner dialogue and unsnarl the spaghetti that keeps us blocked from fully embracing our mission to be productive.
I know that these two books, alone, won’t make me the writer I dream of becoming. They are tools. But the wisdom and insight contained in each helps provide a re-dedication to my talent and goals. Suddenly, I’m looking forward to all those train rides this winter…
The Productive Writer is available in print and as an ebook at both amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com
The 7 Secrets of the Prolific is available as an ebook at amazon.com. Print copies can be purchased at http://hillaryrettig.com.