Still Writing by Dani Shapiro

Still Writing

"Everything I know about life, I learned from the daily practice of sitting down to write."From the best-selling author of Devotion and Slow Motion comes a witty, heartfelt, and practical look at the exhilarating and challenging process of storytelling. At once a memoir, meditation on the artistic process, and advice on craft, Still Writing is an intimate and eloquent companion to living a creative life.Through a blend of deeply personal stories ...

Details Still Writing

TitleStill Writing
Release DateOct 1st, 2013
PublisherAtlantic Monthly Press
GenreLanguage, Writing, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir

Reviews Still Writing

  • Julie Christine
    A few weeks ago someone dear to me asked, “Are you still writing? I wondered if you’d decided to get a part-time job.” I’ll admit right now, right here, this crushed me. My first novel is still months away from launch and my second novel is out on submission. I recently finished the first draft of a third and I’ve just returned from a life-altering residency and poetry workshop. Yet in the space of fourteen small words, I felt my entire...
  • Iris P
    Still Writing: The Pleasures and Perils of a Creative LifeA couple of months ago, when I read Goodread's author Julie Christine Johnson wonderful and inspiring review on this book, I had never heard of author Dani Shapiro before. (You can read Julie's review here.)After reading it, I asked Julie a couple of questions, the first one was:Do you think this memoir can be enjoyed by someone like me, a person who loves literature but isn’t a writer? ...
  • Sophfronia Scott
    I think I picked up this book today because I know I'm on the verge of something. My husband (a teacher) and son (a fifth grader) will both be back to school tomorrow and it occurs to me tomorrow will be, really, the first day of my post-MFA life. (I graduated last month.) I will once again have the house to myself but no packet deadlines and no upcoming residency. I do have a nearly completed novel revision well underway and more projects on my ...
  • David Abrams
    In the whole span of my life, I can count the number of books I've re-read on a single hand--ones by Flannery O'Connor, Charles Dickens, Raymond Carver, Agatha Christie. I'm the kind of reader who is always leaning forward, never circling back. There are too many unread books in front of me, from here to the horizon, to "waste time" by retracing my steps through a novel's pages.I will happily make an exception for Still Writing--not just for the ...
  • Julie Ehlers
    I didn't like this book at first. I thought the writing was kind of dull and the advice kind of obvious. I'd seen this book likened to Bird by Bird, but I didn't agree with that comparison at all—Bird by Bird is an inspired piece of work, and this seemed more like a contract fulfillment. But what really bothered me about this book was Dani Shapiro's constant references to how awesome her life is. I got tired of hearing about her luxurious chais...
  • Mimi Marten
    I first heard about Dani Shapiro on the Oprah Winfrey SuperSoul Sunday show. Her quote 'If I'm present, I will miss nothing' stuck with me from that show. She said many other thing that resonated with me. She spoke my language.This book came to me as a Christmas present. I read it in small doses, like digesting in a slow motion. I wrote down many quotes to cherish Dani Shapiro 's wisdom. She is very honest and raw, sharing her personal triumphs a...
  • Susan Albert
    I enjoyed (very much!) this inspiring collection of vignettes on writing, storytelling, and the challenges of a creative life. Practice and discipline are the basic principles of her craft. Each polished little piece is a prime example of the short personal essay. Much to learn from here; she has much to teach.
  • Heather Truett
    Last week, I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of Still Writing by Dani Shapiro. I love a good book about writing, especially when I like the writer. I read a novel by Dani years ago and it was very good. I just shipped off a set of rewrites to my agent and, while I wait for him to read, I figured it was a good time to refresh my writer-spirit.I adored this book. Some writing books are too instructive and some are pretty out there, but ...
  • Gloria
    I've read a fair amount of books on writing. Some are beautiful.Some are inspiring. Some are mystical. Some are frustrating.I will say that Dani Shapiro manages to take the reality and the mundane of the life and calling of a writer, and infuse it with beauty, empathy, humor and encouragement.I wish she was my neighbor ... so that we might on occasion catch a glimpse of one another, in rumpled pajamas, shuffling past the window, cup of tea in han...
  • Pamela
    I gulped this book down quickly, enjoying its loose-knit, episodic construction and Dani Shapiro's gentle yet pointed insights, and now I need to read it again more slowly. This is not a how-to book or even a book of advice, really, but an account of the shaping of one writer's sensibility and habits, conveyed in a fashion that allows the reader to see certain universals within them. A confession: I really can never get enough of accomplished wri...
  • Jennifer
    Possibly my new favorite book about writing.
  • Nancy Freund
    Five stars, five MILLION stars. I knew if I tried to write a review, I'd run out of space, so I YouTubed it. Hopefully the link will work here, but in case not, you can see me wax lyrical on it by searchign YouTube under Nancy Freund and Still Writing and Dani Shapiro. That ought to take you right to it. But if you are a writer of any kind, novice to novelist, or non-fictionist, or any creative type whatsoever, seriously -- treat yourself to this...
  • Sharon Bright
    Very inspiring book if you have any interest in the writing process. Reads like a novel as the author takes you through her personal life and journey of becoming a writer. She is also very realistic about the sacrifices and discipline needed to write a book, but ultimately leaves you feeling that to create is the most rewarding experience you can do for yourself. I may be convinced, now.
  • Lisa Montanaro
    Oh this book! This inspirational, practical, beautiful book. I took months to read it, making sure that I savored every word, highlighted sections, thought about it, and even took notes. I will probably go back to this book over and over. It is essentially a combination of writing advice and memoir. It is so beautifully interwoven that it is hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. I sometimes would just sit and read sentences over and o...
  • Angela Risner
    To be honest, I had never heard of Dani Shapiro before this book. I only found it through a post on Facebook that mentioned it. I will definitely be looking at the rest of her titles.For me, this book serves as a reminder that despite the push toward science and mathematics in our schools today, creative endeavors in writing, art, etc. are still worthy. Not to say that those who love science or math aren't creative - they are. I remember speaking...
  • Jodi Sh.
    Dani Shapiro has written a book for writers. Not about writers, although it is, but for writers, and especially for those who are not lucky enough to have an MFA cohort, or a writing group, or a mentor, or some sort of active writing community. And those of us who do. Because even when you have all the community in the world, writing is a solitary pursuit. "Still Writing," divided into small, reasonably sized chunks that can easily be read on a s...
  • Philippa
    This is the first book I've read of Dani Shapiro's and it won't be the last. This is a beautiful book that will have a place beside Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down The Bones on my inspiration shelf. It's very different to Bones, in that it's less of a practical "let's get you writing" book and more a meditation on the whole business of being a writer, the craft, the mindset, how you interact with the world. I felt like a warm friendly arm was wra...
  • Denice
    I picked this up at my local library knowing absolutely nothing about it or the author, and now I have a new favorite book on writing, surpassing even Stephen King's (for me, anyway!). Shapiro strikes the perfect balance between conveying her own writing experiences, offering compassionate, empathetic encouragement for writers, and sharing bits of her personal story in a way that left this reader with both a sense of camaraderie and an affirmatio...
  • Alana
    I loved this book.Written in a conversational tone, this book is not so much about the craft of writing, but one writer's thought's and feelings about the writing life; what it takes, and what it gives back. Not only is this book full of inspiration, it made me feel connected to a wider community of writer's by showing we all share the same fears and doubts, and the same inexplicable need to write. While reading I was torn between wanting to take...
  • Amanda
    On Writing by Stephen King and Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott are my favorite writing books. Ever. The advice + stories are like nectar, and I love returning to them for insight on almost anything. I've often said writing is a metaphor for living a good life, and that is precisely how Shapiro swan dives into her memoir on the creative life. I devoured her wisdom. Soaked up her stories. And marveled at her execution. All of it stunning + brilliant. A...
    Its comforting to know that successful published authors doubt themselves, their work, or their right to write at all. Not comforting to know that the only way to get through it is to keep writing in spite of it all. Dani Shapiro is brutally honest. Writing is never pretty, not always worthwhile, and often leaves us feeling vulnerable. But writers do it, because they have to.
  • Kristen
    I can't stop reading and rereading this wonder memoir on the writing life. Both practical primer and inspirational guide, Still Writing has earned a place on my shelf of favorite books about writing, alongside Lamott, King, and Dillard. Dani Shapiro has done it again.
  • Julie Timmer
    I *loved* this book. I expect I will read this once/year, starting now. Maybe once/6 months. Highly recommend.
  • Sheila Callahan
    I spent this summer reading all four of Dani Shapiro's outstanding memoirs. This one I wish to own, as it promises to serve as perennial inspiration for this writer. In my opinion, Still Writing belongs right alongside the other writing bibles such as The Elements of Style. Thank you for this treasure, Dani Shapiro.
  • Brittany
    It's readable, but if you've ever read any other books on writing, you will get nothing new from this one.
  • Paula Vince
    The back cover blurb of this book suggests that it should be placed on our shelves beside Anne Lamott's 'Bird by Bird' and Virginia Woolf's 'A Writer's Diary.' This recommendation, along with Amazon's 'Look Inside' feature had my interest piqued. It turns out to be a wonderful series of honest and thoughtful essays under the headings of Beginnings, Middles and Ends.The book shows how life and writing are two inseparable strands in one rope. Dani ...
  • ♥ Ibrahim ♥
    She is solid, definitely not fluffy. She knows her stuff, a queen of her trade, a master of the writing craft indeed she is! She opens her life wide open for us and allows us to see the pain of her childhood and how it has beautifully shaped her to be the creative person we all admire today. She writes with inspiration and yet never fuzzy, but if anything, she will give you practical steps you can highlight, jot down in your journal and come back...
  • Erika Robuck
    I have several nonfiction books and essay collections on the writing process I've been saving for the right mood (aka: when I need important reminders.) This is one of those times, and for me, STILL WRITING was the perfect balm for a profession that often leaves one hollow or raw at the completion of a work.With her elegant phrasing and straightforward organization, Shapiro can be relied upon to not only give voice to the messy feelings one has t...