by Sarah Stodola
The “Reader’s Digest version” of this book review is that I like it. I spent a couple of weeks listening to it as I went to sleep. (Did you know that Amazon Echo can read Kindle books aloud? It can’t read EVERYTHING, and sometimes the pronunciation is a little bit strange, but it is most definitely understandable.)
Anyhow, Sarah Stodola wrote mini-biographies of about 20 writers. The list included:
David Foster Wallace
F Scott Fitzgerald
and Zadie Smith
Some of these authors I thoroughly enjoy. It was a treat to learn about them and relearn what I forgot. Some of the authors were the kind that made me promise myself to never read again, but learning about their process made me think that I should possibly, maybe consider rethinking that.
The most important tidbits were in the sections detailing the processes that each author took to create a book. Some approaches were detailed and analytical. Some were chaotic and very much “off-the-cuff.” Some produced massive amounts of words in spurts, while James Joyce is reported to have said that he accomplished writing seven words, but wasn’t certain what order to put them in.
After listening to this book I realized that the process isn’t the point. I just need to get the words WRITTEN. I am a writer, not just a talker-abouter or ponderer. Once the words are written, I can figure out how to manage the rest: editing, rewriting, handing it to beta-readers, etc.