Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction, and Other Dilemmas in the Writer's Life

Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction, and Other Dilemmas in the Writer's Life

by Bonnie Friedman


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Named One of "The Essential Books for Writing"  (The Center for Fiction) and One of "The Best Books for Writers" (Poets & Writers)

“In the spirit of Annie Dillard's The Writing Life, Friedman...gives heartfelt counsel to those who need to be coaxed into the creative process."—Washington Post

An indispensable guide for writers that explores the emotional side of writing and offers insightful advice on overcoming writer’s block, procrastination, guilt, and more. 

Charting the emotional side of the writer's life, Writing Past Dark is a writing companion to reach for when you feel lost and want to regain access to the memories, images, and the ideas inside you that are the fuel of strong writing.

Combining personal narrative and other writers' experiences, Bonnie Friedman explores a whole array of emotions and dilemmas writers face—envy, distraction, guilt, and writer's block—and shares the clues that can set you free so that you can write the book you’ve always dreamed of writing.

Supportive, intimate, and reflective, Writing Past Dark is a comfort and resource for all writers.

"Friedman has saved many a writer's career with this one, and as my thank-you to her for writing it, I mention it to any and all readers and writers.  Get a copy of this for your bookshelf." — Literary Mama

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062981103
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/09/2020
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 500,055
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Bonnie Friedman is the author of The Thief of Happiness, and, most recently, Surrendering Oz: A Life in Essays, which was long-listed for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. A three-time Notable Essayist in The Best American Essays, she is an Associate Professor at the University of North Texas, where she won the Creative Impact Award.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Why I Wrote This Book xiii

Preface xvii

1 Envy, the Writer's Diseasel 1

2 Message from a Cloud of Flies: On Distraction 9

3 Your Mother's Passions, Your Sister's Woes: Writing About the Living 19

4 The Paraffin Density of Wax Wings: Writing School 43

5 The Wild Yellow Circling Beast: Writing from the Inside 65

6 The Story's Body: How to Get the Meaning In 85

7 Anorexia of Language: Why We Can't Write 105

8 Glittering Icons, Lush Orchards: On Success 129

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