Annie Dillard's The Writing Life, for me, was like having a relaxing conversation with a friend about the pains and joys of writing. I identified with every sentence -- from starting over again on a writing project, to disliking the beginning of a work but loving the middle, to growing in this craft, etc... It is an addiction, and addictions are not easy to explain, so I understand the negative reviews of this book as well. Writing is an unexplainable yet enjoyable frustration. Annie Dillard's metaphores trying to explain the positive and negative aspects of writing -- from painting, to reeling in a log and fighting the forces of nature, to flying -- they are clear-cut, percise views of what writing is all about. This book is great for writers who just enjoy what writng is: annoying, aggrevating, frustrating, sole-searching, creative, self-understanding fun. Read this book. Relax. Enjoy The Writing Life.