This post continues a series begun over a year ago, which has an infinite number of parts. Therefore, there is no “Part 1 of a #;” it will simply continue until the well dries up. The lag time since the last post resulted from personal issues which were unavoidable. A list of all posts in the series to date is found here.
Have you ever wished for a book about writing that isn’t a how-to guide? One that is something like a good friend or companion? This is exactly what William Kenower has written in his collection of essays on writing, Write Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion.
Despite inclusion in my memoir writers resources series, this collection is directed at and designed for any writer, any genre.
Sometime during the last year, I heard Bill Kenower speak to the membership of Willamette Writers in Portland. Kenower had driven from Seattle to Portland for our 7 pm meeting, and he made us all comfortable from the start by sharing his parking experience in downtown Portland as masses left work. Immediately he had won us over.
As editor-in-chief of Author magazine, Kenower knows a lot about writing. He writes a daily blog focused on the intersection of writing and life. He also interacts with writers in preparation for frequent interviews and/or panel discussions on his podcasts and videos. Writing is something he is passionate about and his enthusiasm for the subject is contagious.
That passion and enthusiasm are clear in the essays included in Write Within Yourself. Some of my favorite must remember passages are:
A great book is a work of love–not craft, not intelligence, not discipline, but love. And that love expresses itself in this question asked and answered over and over again: What do I most want to say?
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The more I wrote, the more I understood that anything–a rainy day, a shower, a bad night’s sleep–led to what had always interested me most, the intersection of creativity and everyday life.
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When you spend a workday out of the flow of your story, you must choose kindness and compassion–that is the only way back into the flow of the story. You have written before; you will write again. … You will feel relief when it goes well and despair when it doesn’t. Love and compassion are your only tools when the day’s work brings you nothing. Writers, in this way, must learn above all others to love their enemy, because a writer’s only enemy is himself.
I hope you will at least visit Bill Kenower’s site and Author magazine (link available at his site). I find his writing a great comfort whether or not all is going well with my writing. I firmly believe you would too.
About William Kenower:
William Kenower is the author of Write Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion, and is the Editor-in-Chief of Author magazine, an online magazine for writers and dedicated readers. He writes a popular daily blog for the magazine about the intersection of writing and our daily lives and has interviewed hundreds of writers of every genre. He also hosts the online radio program Author2Author where every week he and a different guest discuss the books we write and the lives we lead.