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For Writers Only


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Call it emotional rescue, this slight but useful book was compiled while Burnham (A Book of Angels) was writing steadily with no reward or promise of acknowledgment. Thus, on facing pages, she offers quotes about the struggle by published authors, then her own meditations and anecdotes about the strains of the writing life. While longer books (Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird) discuss both emotion and craft, Burnham covers the appropriate bases for the anxious, would-be artist: the trauma of beginning, the search for a place to create, the need to free-fall into fiction. No loneliness, she observes trenchantly, matches that reached when you are continually ``available to others at the expense of your inner voice.'' And she recalls, when she once felt like a failure, meeting an artist who reminded her we can ``work with all our hearts'' but cannot ask for recognition. (Nov.)

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