The Intuitive Writer: Listening to Your Own Voice (Compass)

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9780142196045: The Intuitive Writer: Listening to Your Own Voice (Compass)

Gail Sher's first guidebook, One Continuous Mistake, showed writers how to develop awareness and deal with distraction through the Four Noble Truths (for writers). Drawing from Sher's thirty years of experience as a Zen Buddhist, psychotherapist, poet, and teacher, The Intuitive Writer is her second enlightening guide for the writer (now seated at her desk) that explains how to shape and sharpen her perceptions, both of her own voice and that of the world around her.

An invaluable tool for writers of every level, The Intuitive Writer explores the wisdom, spirituality, and ultimate uniqueness embedded in the language of one's daily life.

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Review:

Gail Sher's The Intuitive Writer is a series of meditations on listening. Not just any listening, but listening with the "imagining ear." The imagining ear is more described than defined here, but it involves listening attentively and hearing more than there is to hear. The imagining ear can hear the silence in Stravinsky's Violin Concerto. It can hear, as Willa Cather wrote, "the corn growing in the night." One might think, mistakenly, that this involves active, aggressive, "yang" listening. But Sher, a Zen monk, refers instead to the listening that comes from freeing oneself of preconceptions, judgments, and opinions. This is a slender book, with short chapters that refer to everything from Robert Frost and Camille Pissarro to child's pose in yoga and Ayurveda, from Philip Glass and Balanchine to Krishnamurti and Chinese pictograms. Either you find this kind of swirl of cultural and spiritual references appealing or you don't. But what writer wouldn't appreciate the encouragement to open themselves to a deeper understanding of experience, where it becomes clear that "one falling leaf is not just one leaf; it means the whole autumn." --Jane Steinberg

About the Author:

Gail Sher is the author of eight books of poetry and one book on breadmaking, in addition to her books on writing. She has been awarded Teacher of the Year by the combined educational faculties of the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, and San Francisco State University.

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