From a random review:

Get new posts by email:

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Navigate the site:
Click here for a complete list of books reviewed or select below:
Search the site:
The ratings:
5 stars  excellent
4 stars  very good
3 stars  good
2 stars  fair
1 stars  poor

Blog stats:

About the blogger:
Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)





Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


  Previous post:   Wolitzer, Meg: Surrender, Dorothy  
  Next post:   McDermid, Val: The Distant Echo  


Golub, Marcia: I'd Rather Be Writing

  Amazon  

4 stars

I've read or skimmed several books about writing over the last few years and found that most of them led to a paralyzing depression, those sit-down-and-outline-the-whole-story-and-write-ten-pages-about- each-character-before-you-type-a-word-type books. I'm not saying such methods don't work--what do I know--or that successful writers don't write that way--they probably do. But for me, even considering adopting such a regimen deadens any urge I might have to hit the keyboard.

Marcia Golub's I'd Rather Be Writing, on the other hand, is the furthest thing from disheartening. The author offers practical advice about writing that the average mortal can imagine following--advice about note-taking and imposing deadlines on oneself and keeping numerous projects, in varying stages, going at once. The principal piece of advice one comes away from the book with, however, is a simple one, that if you want to be a writer, you have to sit down every day--or as close to every day as you can--and write something for some length of time. This is not earth-shattering information, of course, and indeed none of what Golub has to say is particularly profound. Nor did it have to be said at such length. The book could probably get the same information across in half the pages.

But that wouldn't have been as much fun. Golub's writing is pleasingly breezy and occasionally funny.

"I know there are marriages where husband and wife both work at home. I also know there are marriages where husbands push wives out of windows and wives sprinkle arsenic on their husbands' bowls of pasta. I'm not saying the two are related, but you have to wonder."

She lets her personality and her life circumstances spill onto the page. She writes about her own work habits, descriptions of which for some reason always fascinate me. Most importantly, Golub somehow manages to be inspirational. She makes you want to follow her advice, to sit down and write something, both because you really want to and because, as she might say, death is just around the corner. (Golub seems unusually aware of her own mortality.) Writers looking for a kick in the pants, as the kids say, may well find inspiration here.

Comments

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In