From Kate's Writing Crate…
The Authentic Swing: Notes from the Writing of a First Novel is the third book about writing by Steven Pressfield who has written a dozen books including The Legend of Bagger Vance, his first novel. He based it on the mystical novel Golf in the Kingdom by Michael Murphy, a favorite book of mine as well. Whether you're writing a novel or not, there is great writing wisdom in The Authentic Swing.
I recommend Pressfield's first writing book, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, every chance I get as it supports/challenges writers to complete their projects like no other book I've read. His follow up, Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life's Work, continues this support. The Authentic Swing concentrates on writing novels, but is helpful for most writers.
On page 69, Pressfield states, "My mantra for first drafts is "Cover the Canvas." What I mean by that is that our supreme priority is to get SOMETHING down from Page One to The End—no matter how incomplete or imperfect.
Don't look down.
The enemy of the first draft is not incompleteness or inexactness or imperfection. The enemy is Resistance. The enemy is self-sabotage."
On page 108, Pressfield notes, "…the struggle of the golfer…is the same as the struggle of the writer.
It's the struggle of any artist or entrepreneur, any athlete or warrior…any person, male or female, in any creative or ethical field.
What is this struggle? It's the quest to connect with one's true ground. To become who we really are.
It's the search for our true voice."
Writing is a struggle. You have to trust the process. You have to face blank pages over and over again and keep filling them until you reach The End. It can take a really long time so it's easy to lose our way.
On page 131, Pressfield writes, "…You discover who you are as you go along.
What defines you is what you have done, but the weird part is you never know until you do it.
The trick is: Do it.
Then you'll know.
Do it again, and you'll know more.
Keep doing it again and again."
Writers usually work alone so it's comforting to have Steven Pressfield's writing guidebooks, The War of Art, Turning Pro, and The Authentic Swing, on a shelf nearby to comfort, inspire, lead, or support us as we work hard to become authors ourselves.
Pressfield is offering free online discussions about writing his first novel on his web site. I also love his inspiring and thoughtful “Writing Wednesdays” blog posts at www.stevenpressfield.com.
What writing books inspire you?