Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chic Lit to the Extreme

The Literary Ladies:  Guide to the Writing Life by Nava Atlas
(Adult Inspirational/Literary)
It's hard today to be a 'writer' and the label 'author' can only be ascribed to those lucky few who can make a living at it.  Ah, the good old days when it was easy to get published.  Not so fast!  This book showcases the hard work and determination of a set of women who had very little luck but lots of pluck.

The book follows the writing lives of twelve famous female authors:  Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Willa Cather, Edna Ferber, Madeleine L'Engle, L.M. Montgomery, Anais Nin, George Sand, Harriet Beecher Stow, Edith Wharton and Virginia Woolf.  Really, these women more deserve the title of writer because this book shows the absolute rock-hard determination of each to get their ideas, thoughts, and books out into the public hand.

The book focuses not on the lives of these women but on their musings of their writing life:  the failures, disappointments and rare joy.  It allows us to look at women we think of today as great success and peel back the veneer of writing and see the ugliness of making a living.  The little doubting seed inside us all lived inside them too. 

That is what I found perhaps the most inspirational.  At the very least, it motivated me once more to pick up my own writing, dust it off and try again.  And if I don't succeed at first?  Well, then, I will be in very good company.  A great read for the struggling female writer!

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