How Writers Journey to Comfort and Fluency: A Psychological Adventure

By Robert Boice | Go to book overview

Preface

Most books about finding writing fluency aim for specialized audiences. So, when my friends and colleagues glanced at early versions of this material, they assumed it was not intended for them. They thought it must either be a text for composition classes where students are learning to write, or else a self-help book for hopelessly blocked writers.

I expect that How Writers Journey to Comfort and Fluency will be read by writers in both these categories, but I think it will find another broad audience with writers already writing. They, in my experience, profit as much as anyone from new ideas and practices about comfort and fluency in writing.

Writers of all stripes have read these pages and tell me they are unusually helpful ("Simply seeing how other writers change is fascinating, more so when I try out the ideas on myself"). I have long letters from novelists who found more enjoyable and efficient ways to write. I have even longer letters from graduate students whose dissertations had languished until they found confidence and discipline as writers. My most cherished testimonials come from people who had been unable to write ("The pain and doubts and fears are mostly gone now; I'm feeling like a writer again").

A premise of this book is that all writers can learn more efficient, less painful ways to work. Another is that writers are curious about how other writers work and learn.

So where does this leave you, the reader? Feeling patient and tolerant, I hope. This is a book about patience that can, in the short run, make cojourneyers feel impatient. This is an unusual book with some counterintuitive ideas that can seem off-putting until they are tried. This is a "read" that demands a slow pace, with rereading. If you really want to reinvent yourself as a more joyful, efficient writer, you owe yourself more than a quick, single reading of How Writers Journey.

-xi-

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How Writers Journey to Comfort and Fluency: A Psychological Adventure
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Introduction: Long Journeys for Writers xv
  • 1 - Motivation 1
  • References 39
  • 2 - Imagination 43
  • References 80
  • 3 - Fluency 83
  • References 125
  • 4 - Control 129
  • References 170
  • 5 - Audience 175
  • SUMMARY 207
  • References 209
  • 6 - Resilience 213
  • References 232
  • Conclusion: Rules for Comfort and Fluency 235
  • Selected Bibliography 247
  • Index 249
  • About the Author 253
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