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Letters to a Young Writer
Letters to a Young Writer: Some Practical and Philosophical Advice | Colum McCann
From the bestselling author of the National Book Award winner Let the Great World Spin comes a collection of essays featuring advice to aspiring writers.
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mrozzz
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“You read to fire your heart aflame. You read to lop the top of your head off. You read because you‘re the bravest idiot around and you‘re willing to go on an adventure into the joy of confusion.

You know when a book is working. And if it confuses you while thrilling you, that‘s a good sign, keep going. Absolute consistency is unimaginative. Confusion is an honest response. Change comes about because of confusion.”

Ubookquitous YES! That wonderful sense of confusion and anticipation that it will all make sense in the end! I love authors who expect their audience to be patient. NK Jemisin comes to mind - Arturo Reverte Perez too... many others 1y
readordierachel Love that! 1y
GripLitGrl Love it💕 1y
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review
mrozzz
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Pickpick

I worship at the feet of the master. Although obvious, this is a perfect companion for aspiring writers.

Not since Anne Lamott have I so enjoyed an author‘s advice. The best part is how easy it is to gobble up the bite-size sections, & how utterly relatable it is to struggles writers face trying to stay on track, to keep reading for pleasure AND research, to know when to move on, when to push forward- and to, above all else, KEEP WRITING.

RaimeyGallant Sounds great! 1y
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mrozzz
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“If you‘re going to throw a punch, try your own jaw first: get a taste of how it might feel, then walk away from it. The most destructive force in your life is liable to be the unwritten story. If you don‘t write, you‘re not a writer. You‘re avoiding the competition of yourself. Simple logic, but it‘s a kick in the chest when the page is empty. Too much white space is not a good thing. Empty is empt. And empty haunts.”

🙌🏻💗💗💗💗

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Maria514626
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Love these tips on writing. Browsed the book and found it do-so. Maybe because I didn‘t actually read it. 🤦‍♀️😁 #writersonwriting #litsywrites

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Readingrobin

Another author I met this spring. Book is inspired.

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RidgewayGirl
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Pickpick

Colum McCann's generous and useful book of advice lives manages to be both instructional and inspirational.

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AlexGeorge
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Pickpick

Picked this up last weekend at Three Lives in Greenwich Village and devoured it with glee. Smart, honest, and often funny. I wish I'd had this book when I started my writing career. As it is, I shall keep it close and return to it often, both for myself and my students. Highly recommended for *all* writers (not just the young ones.)

Suet624 McCann is my guy. Love him. 😀 2y
AlexGeorge Agree. He's wonderful. 2y
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Bradleygirl
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Starting on this as a kick in my pants and a palate-cleanser. It's no Writing Down The Bones, but I just started and I like it enough 👍#nonfiction #writingaboutwriting

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shawnmooney
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Pickpick

This wee book of writing advice was delightful. Other than the maxim 'just get off your arse and write!', I have no idea how helpful it would be to an aspiring writer. Back in the Pre-Cambrian era I considered myself to be such an aspirant, and bought every single book like this, even read quite a few of them; that was as far as I ever got with my illustrious literary career. Anyway, this was wonderful on audio, read by McCann himself.

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shawnmooney
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By that standard, I'm a veritable Picasso, Shakespeare, or Alice Munro.

TrishB 😂😂 2y
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shawnmooney
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Cinfhen Which justifies a bail!!! 2y
shawnmooney @Cinfhen I was sitting here waiting for you to chime in! 😍😍 2y
Cinfhen Hahaha 😘😘😘 2y
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balletbookworm
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Pickpick

Life advice disguised as writing advice very much in the vein of Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet. It gets a bit platitude-y at times, in my opinion, but the later chapters have some really wry voices.

Also, dude can write a sentence about anything. That alone is worth reading.

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balletbookworm
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Yep. Some people have a gift for dialect, they know how to use it in juuuuuust the right amounts.

Others abuse "eye dialogue" (a new term I picked up from writer/bookseller Sarah Prineas).

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Thndrstd
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Pickpick

Modeled after Rilke‘s classic, this book of short chapters is chock full of advice for the aspiring writer. A lot of the advice is familiar, but McCann is a sharp, engaging, often blunt writer who makes a lot of it fresh and vigorous. The writing is inspiring and motivating and makes it a worthwhile read for the fledgling writer.
[I received an advanced e-galley from Netgalley. The book is due to be released on April 4, 2017.]

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Allietaylor16
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Exactly what I needed to hear!!

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