For the sake of simplicity, I’ll say I finished One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers by Gail Sher tonight. But the truth is, I’m not ‘finished’ with it. Rather, I just completed my first cover-to-cover read-through. The book will remain on my nightstand indefinitely.
This is a hard book to peg. Its about writing, of course, but it touches on so many facets of the craft. Good practice habits, nurturing your muse, seeing and opening yourself to the world around you…all kinds of things. Sher started her craft by writing haiku and in a way that influence is still with her. The book is broken up into many short 1-2 page nuggets of wisdom. She is also a Zen Buddhist and you really feel that influence as well.
What’s really interesting is juxtaposing this book with Spiritual Cleaning (see previous post). Sher does all the things that Robyn tries, and fails, to do. And it feels so effortless. Did I accept everything Sher said at face value? Of course not. But even when I was disagreeing with her, I still could respect her thoughts. Sher just makes a lot of sense.
If you write, or you want to write, or you just fantasize about writing, pick up this book. Open it at random and get an injection of wisdom. Highly recommended. I can’t wait to start reading ita second time.