15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Inspiration finds you working..., 23 July 2006
I have to admit that I'm naturally inclined to rebel against prescription or proscription (aren't most writers?) - writers writing books about writing seem to me little more than commandments from distant, unapproachable gods. And I've found in my own creative writing course, most of the learning and discussion goes on in the pub after the lecture: if established writers sit around and talk about money, young and aspiring writers talk about writing, as they try to articulate the rush of ideas and inspirations thrumming inside them. And I think that's what makes this book so fascinating and engaging: the way it captures the spirit of a bunch of writers sitting round and talking about writing - except in a way that's interesting to other people. I like the way it feels like a discussion, an exploration, rather than a map, raising more interesting questions to consider than simply laying down "definitive" answers. The most important thing I have to say I got from reading was reassurance, realising that I wasn't doing so badly, that others faced the same struggles and doubts as I, and that whatever anyone else's work habits, as long as I had found a routine and work habits that helped me to keep writing, then that was okay. More than ever I realise the truth of Graham Greene's observation in The End of the Affair (another novel about a writer writing!): Inspiration finds you working, however you do it.