Review: Being A Writer: Advice, Musings, Essays, and Experiences From The World's Greatest Authors by Trace Elborough and Helen Gordon
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY
Being A Writer is a collection of information and diverse opinions by essayists, fiction writers, and non-fiction writers of different kinds on the subject of writing.
WHO WOULD ENJOY READING IT?
Writers of all kinds and different stages of development.
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT IT
The diversity of the collections is impressive. Short story writers rarely feature in a collection like this, but this book has many. Also, this book goes beyond the normal old, dead, white European writers to contemporary African and Asian writers perspectives on the craft - there are many voices to hear from here.
"The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself. I suppose that it begins or does not begin in the cradle. Although I have felt compelled to write things down since I was five years old, I doubt that my daughter ever will, for she is a singularly blessed and accepting child, delighted with life exactly as life presents itself to her, unafraid to go to sleep and unafraid to wake up. Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss." Joan Didion
"One night a friend lent me a book of short stories by Franz Kafka. I went back to the pension where I was staying and began to read ‘The Metamorphosis’. The ﬁrst line almost knocked me off the bed. I was so surprised. The ﬁrst line reads, ‘As Gregor Samsa awoke that morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect . . .’ When I read the line I thought to myself that I didn’t know anyone was allowed to write things like that. If I had known, I would have started writing a long time ago. So I immediately started writing short stories." Gabriel García Márquez
Being A Writer: Advice, Musings, Essays, and Experiences From The World's Greatest Authors by Trace Elborough and Helen Gordon is available to buy from on all major online bookstores.
Many thanks to Quarto Publishing Group for review copy.