Dancing on the Head of a Pen: The Practice of a Writing Life

Robert Benson. WaterBrook, $14.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-4000-7435-8
Baseball, road trips, and hats feature in Benson’s well-crafted exploration of the writing process. The prolific author (Moving Miss Peggy), who has written on prayer and faith as well as other topics, conveys to a general audience that persistence, sound habits, and good information can help aspiring writers transform an idea into a book. Everyday details about Benson’s life in Nashville abound as he challenges those who advise “quick and dirty” first drafts; shares insights picked up from his wide reading; and confesses his failures (“I once spent a whole year pretending to write a book”). His creative flair, gentle humor, and extended metaphors enliven conventional topics (choosing what to write, developing self-discipline, determining when to share one’s work). He describes his idiosyncratic, sometimes low-tech writing habits to encourage others to find what works for them. Benson emphasizes that writing is a job to which one must show up every day. Throughout, he demonstrates that a determined writers must makes successful choices to finish books. Benson’s sound advice, humility, and steadfast encouragement will appeal to his fans and others looking for a inspirational testimony about the writing life. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/09/2014
Release date: 07/15/2014
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