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The Daily Writer

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366 Meditations to Cultivate a Productive and Meaningful Life

Publishing Information

  • Author: Fred White
  • Publisher: Writers Digest
  • Year: 2008
  • Page count: 377 pg
  • Price: $19.95

Introduction

Fred White in “The Daily Writer” states that writing can be a deeply fulfilling and spiritual experience.

He writes that it is also a kind of mind-alchemy in which the aspiring writer can transform ideas into poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

His book is intended to help awaken the spiritual side of writing through daily meditations.

By means of 366 meditations, the book’s purpose is to:

  • Help the aspiring writer to integrate the habit of writing into his or her life.
  • Motivate the aspiring writer to write each day.
  • Prevent or end writer’s block.
  • Enable the aspiring writer to learn about the craft of writing.

Format

The book is organized into 366 chapters, each consisting of a daily meditation and exercise on writing. The index is organized by writing topic, which makes it easy to complete meditations and exercises by topic instead of completing the book in from start to finish.

Summary

The Daily Writer is a book of 366 writing meditations, intended to cultivate a productive and meaningful writing life. Each meditation explores a particular aspect of the writing craft, such as allegory, myth, and parable; art and iconography; brainstorming; books and reading; drafting and revising; journaling; and language. Each mediation also includes additional points to further reflect about and one or more exercises to complete.

Here are a few examples from the book:

In the Vocabulary Builder Meditation, White tells the reader not to memorize long lists of words. Instead the reader should read widely and deeply, and use the dictionary to look up words that are not understood. As an exercise, he suggests that readers should study their dictionary to build their vocabulary.

In the meditation on Reverence for Books and Reading, White provides advice on how to become a good writer. He states that “you cannot become a good writer without being a good reader.” For further reflection, he asks the reader list the books that he/she enjoys reading. As an exercise, he suggests that the reader reread a favourite book.

the Keeping a Journal Meditation, White explains why all aspiring writers should keep a journal/writer’s notebook. He points out that it is a fundamental writer’s tool for jotting down ideas, a way of staying in the writing habit, and a means to gain insight. As a exercise he suggests that readers should begin keeping a journal, and for a first entry they should write about a “wild fantasy.”

In the meditation on writing concisely, he suggests that writers use fewer words, make every word count, use common sense, and eliminate redundancy, wordiness, and nominalizations. As an exercise, he suggests that readers to a sentence-by-sentence edit of a piece of writing.

Audience

This book is for aspiring writers who want to learn how to write, prevent or overcome writer’s block, get into the habit of writing, or learn about the various creative writing topics.

About the Author

Fred White is an associate professor of English at Santa Clara University. He holds a PH.D in English. He is also the author of four textbooks on writing and has published a myriad of essays, short stories, and poetry. 

Assessment

Are you looking for a book that inspires you to write? If you answered “yes”, then The Daily Writer is a book you should purchase. It includes 366 topics presented in the form of daily meditations that are intended to teach you about some aspect of writing and to inspire you to write. So, if you are an aspiring writer or a writer who has lost his/her inspiration, you should add this book to your reading list and to your bookshelf for future reference.

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