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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Windhorse Publications (26 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1899579672
  • ISBN-13: 978-1899579679
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 1 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 534,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Manjusvara was born David Keefe, in Hertfordshire, England in 1953. After studying composition at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and research in electronic music at the University of Durham, he went on to write music for films, dance, and the theatre.

In 1987 he was ordained within the Triratna Buddhist Order and given the name 'Manjusvara', which means 'gentle music'. For a number of years he worked for the Buddhist charity Karuna Trust, becoming Director of Fund-raising and Newsletter Editor.

From the early 1990s Manjusvara divided his time between fundraising and writing for the Karuna Trust, and writing (poetry, criticism and fiction), editing, and teaching. His poems and essays appeared in leading journals in England and America, and he was the editor for Weatherlight Press.

Manjusvara co-led the Wolf at the Door writing workshops, teaching regularly throughout the world. His published books are 'Writing Your Way' (Windhorse Publications, 2005) and 'The Poet's Way' (Windhorse Publications 2010). He died in June 2011.

Product Description

Review

Smart, generous, imaginative, and encouraging. --Chase Twichell, co-editor, 'The Practice of Poetry'

Contains more good advice about writing than any other book I have read. --Robert Gray, award-winning poet

Simply the best introduction to creative writing that I have come across. --John Killick

About the Author

Manjusvara (David Keefe) began writing music from an early age and it was song-writing that first got him interested in poetry and writing. Studying musical composition, he went on to write music for films, dance and the theatre, including the Royal Shakespeare Company. A practicing Buddhist, he is also a published poet and essayist as well as publisher, publishing the poetry of Robert Bly and William Stafford. Manjusvara is co-leader of Wolf at the Door writing workshops based on Buddhist practice and, using many of the methods outlined in this book, teaches regularly throughout Britain, Europe, North America and Australasia.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hilary Jane on 2 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback
This isn't the usual sort of writer's manual or self help book. For a start, there is very little about formal technique - that's not what it's about. It's about the process and not the result. The assertion here is that, in writing as well as in life, what you do isn't as important as how you do it. And how you do it is about change and transformation.

I hope that doesn't sound offputtingly abstract - there's plenty of practical advice here, although some of that may be a bit unexpected too. Among other things, we are shown how to lower our standards, forget about trying harder, and to borrow liberally and creatively from other writers. More challenging still, we are reminded that the less we do, the more we are likely to experience.

Many of these ideas come directly from the writer's Buddhist practice, and indeed the way the book is written feels profoundly Buddhist - in its warmth, its language, its seriousness and in its playful paradoxes. Billed as a how-to-write book, you could almost use Writing your Way as a how-to-meditate book too, or even as how-to-live-your-life. For Manjusvara there is no reason to see these as separate activities.

He is very clear that writing, meditation and life give us the opportunity and the ability to change our basic emotional patterns, as well as making it obvious why we might need to, and what we have to gain. Some very moving personal details back this up, both from Manjusvara himself and from his students. The process is made to feel exciting and liberating rather than daunting, by the kindness of the tone, the openness of the author to sharing his own experience, and the practicality of the exercises.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Des Dillon on 25 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback
I have read a plethora of books on creative writing and how to teach it. There have been good ones, weird ones and bad ones. Writing Your Way is the best book I've read on the subject. I read it over a scorching week in my garden by the sea in Galloway, did the exercises and soaked in the ethos of this book.

I say ethos because, as you will see, the author is a Buddhist. But the book is free from preaching or evangelising. Instead it takes you to the core of who you are in the process of getting you writing. This is important because getting to the core of who you are takes you to the most important point in writing. Your voice.

If you are starting to write, already writing, or a world weary professional, here is a book to energise you, to rekindle your passion for the art.

There are bonuses too. The spirituality you can take or leave. I took. The introduction to the author's work. I took. And a delight for me; the introduction to a brilliant minimalist poet, William Stafford.

So hats off to Manjusvara . An inspiring book mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Des Dillon
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Hill on 6 April 2006
Format: Paperback
I have come back to this book many times for inspiration. The apt title says it all really. This book encourages novice and experienced writers alike to make writing an enjoyable and relevant part of their journey through life, not just a solitary, separate activity.
I have attended Wolf at the Door writing workshops, from which much of this book is drawn, and they have the same atmosphere as this book. Both make it safe to explore writing as part of our personal exploration and expression. There is a lovely, kind tone in the book which lends the same safe feeling as the workshops.
I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes to write and wants to put their writing in a bigger context; as part of what they are doing in their day to day life. It would also be very inspiring for practicing or published writers wanting to find a new and vibrant way of approaching the art of writing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Jones on 5 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
I use Manjusvara's book in my teaching of creative writing, and find its approach invaluable. The exercises are tried and tested through the author's own teaching experience (I've attended some of his workshops myself), and each offers some new revelation. There is not prescription in this book about what good writing should look like, not even much by way of direction or example, but a lot of encouragement to engage with the process of writing. It turns out that this process is much like a journey of self-discovery, of spiritual unfolding - perhaps no surprise as the author is a Buddhist. Personally, I find this emphasis to be invaluable, as it includes from the start the element of depth and authenticity in creative writing. And these days, creative writing has anyway become for many writers a means of engaging with what could also be described a a 'journey of self-discovery', so Manjusvara's book is an excellent addition to the genre.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Palmer on 15 April 2009
Format: Paperback
I love to tell stories and several times it has been suggested I should write some of them down. But the harder I tried to do so the more stunted and lifeless the pages became. I read Manjusvara's book, tried the exercises and took his advice to try less hard and set my sights a little lower. I was set free from my imagined restraints. Writing Your Way has opened the door to an storehouse of creative pleasure and I recommended it to anyone who would like to write but is not sure quite where to begin.
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