Books

Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Still Writing

The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life

by Dani Shapiro

“One of those rare books that is both beautiful and useful. Still Writing is an exploration of the writing life, lit up by Shapiro’s luminous voice.” —Susan Orlean

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 240
  • Publication Date August 12, 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2141-7
  • Dimensions 5" x 7.25"
  • US List Price $16.00
  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Publication Date October 01, 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-9343-8
  • US List Price $14.00

About The Book

From the best-selling author of Devotion and Slow Motion comes a witty, heartfelt, and practical look at the exhilarating and challenging process of storytelling. At once a memoir, meditation on the artistic process, and advice on craft, Still Writing is an intimate and eloquent companion to living a creative life.

Through a blend of deeply personal stories about what formed her as a writer, tales from other authors, and a searching look at her own creative process, Shapiro offers her gift to writers everywhere: an elegant guide of hard-won wisdom and encouragement for staying the course. “The writer’s life requires courage, patience, empathy, openness. It requires the ability to be alone with oneself. Gentle with oneself. To be disciplined, and at the same time, take risks.” Writers—and anyone with an artistic temperament—will find inspiration and comfort in these pages. Offering lessons learned over twenty years of teaching and writing, Shapiro uses her own revealing insights to craft an indispensable almanac for modern writers.

Like Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, Virginia Woolf’s A Writer’s Diary, and Stephen King’s On Writing, Dani Shapiro’s Still Writing is a lodestar for aspiring scribes and an eloquent memoir of the writing life.

Praise

“A practical, wise, and inviting guide to [Shapiro’s] 20-year journey as an author and teacher.” —Elle

Still Writing offers up a cornucopia of wisdom, insights, and practical lessons gleaned from Dani Shapiro’s long experience as a celebrated writer and teacher of writing. The beneficiaries are beginning writers, veteran writers and everyone in between.” —Jennifer Egan

“Writers need hope. Writers need help. Thank you, Dani Shapiro.” —Michael Cunningham

“Dani Shapiro has written a wise, pragmatic, and soulful field guide to the writing life. Still Writing is filled with honest words to not only live by but write toward. Shapiro has created a well-drawn map for the lost, the weary, and the found. I loved it.” —Terry Tempest Williams

“One of those rare books that is both beautiful and useful. Still Writing is an exploration of the writing life, lit up by Shapiro’s luminous voice.” —Susan Orlean

“A thoughtful examination of [Shapiro’s] life and the creative process that has defined it. . . . Clear-eyed, honest and grounded.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Instructive and inspiring.” —Vanity Fair

“Part primer, part benediction, this is Shapiro’s love letter to a discipline and to the colleagues, students, and readers who share its rigor and rewards.” —More

“Terrific . . . if you have aspirations to put pen to paper, treat yourself to Still Writing.” —Hudson Valley News

“Shapiro talks about the realities of living a creative life with the patience and care of a teacher”honest and realistic.” —greatnewbooks.com

“Mixing her own hard-earned wisdom with teachings absorbed from her community of writer friends and books . . . Shapiro de-romanticizes the solitary task of sitting down to write” She offers direction on getting out of your own way and cultivating a mind that catches itself.” —Biographile.com

Excerpt

Permission

If you’re waiting for the green light, the go-ahead, the reassuring wand to tap your shoulder and anoint you as a writer, you’d better pull out your thermos and folding chair, because you’re going to be waiting for a good long while.

Accountants go to business school, and when they graduate with their degrees, they don’t ask themselves whether they have permission to do people’s taxes. Lawyers pass the bar, medical students become doctors, academics become professors, all without considering whether or not they have a right to be going to work. But nothing and no one gives us permission to wake up and sit at home staring at a computer screen while everybody else sets their alarm clocks, puts on reasonable attire, and boards the train. No one is counting on us, or waiting for whatever we produce. People look at us funny, very possibly because we look funny, strange and out of sync with the rest of the world after spending our days alone in our bathrobes, talking only to our household pets, if at all.

I can’t imagine what my UPS delivery guy thinks when I crack open the door to sign for a package. There’s that weird lady again. My husband, who has been a successful journalist and screenwriter for most of his adult life, was in his forties before his father stopped asking him when he was going to get a real job.