Monday, August 24, 2015

Reads for Writers: The Wonders of Solitude edited by Dale Salwak

From Kate’s Writing Crate…


As a reader, I always love finding books that appeal to me. As a writer, I am twice as pleased when the authors also provide masterclasses within their books.

          Masterclasses take place when performance artists and musicians work one-on-one with students. Writers don’t generally have this option, but I have found some books to be masterclasses for characters, backstories, plots, settings, voice and/or creativity.


          I picked up The Wonders of Solitude edited by Dale Salwak and read the inside cover flap. The first sentence:

In a world that devalues solitary time, this inspirational volume of quotations on the essential importance of solitude aids us in bringing contemplation and silence back into our busy lives.

I find solitude essential not only when I write, but at times during the day to stay centered. It’s comforting to know I’m in good company.


There is nothing either / or about being alone, because it is not a role. It is not a reduced way of life. It is a possibility for us to participate in a highly creative endeavor: the discovery of our whole selves.

--Phillis Hobe (page 39)


…that perfect tranquility of life, which is nowhere to be found but in retreat, a faithful friend, and a good library.

                                                                 --Aphira Behn (page 53)


Every kind of creative work demands solitude, and being alone, constructively alone, is a prerequisite for every phase of the creative process.

--Barbara Powell (page 59)


There is nobody else like you. The more you can quiet your own thoughts, fears, doubts, and suspicions, the more will be revealed to you from the higher realms of imagination, intuition, and inspiration.

                                                                 --Kenneth Wydro (page 65)


When we are in the act of writing we are alone and on our own, in a kind of absolute state of Do Not Disturb.

                                                        --Eudora Welty (page71)


When I begin to sit with the dawn in solitude, I begin to really live. It makes me treasure every single moment of life.

                                                                 --Gloria Vanderbuilt (page 89)


To live a contemplative life is to be open enough to see, free enough to hear, real enough to respond... it is a life of grateful receptivity, of wordless awe, of silent simplicity.

                                                                          --Sister Marie Beha (page 114)



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