Deep Writing

“As the author of a book about writing myself (WRITING IN FLOW), I really appreciated author Maisel’s combination of the practical with the passionate. When he talks about combining writing what you love and making a living doing so, it certainly rings true. How much compromise can you make with the real world and still be congruent with your deepest self? In DEEP WRITING, we learn the value of getting and staying engaged with our writing (getting into ‘flow,’ in other words). Maisel is unusually frank, too, about his own successes, failures, and learning experiences (not that you can or should even try to separate those three things!). This book feels like an inspiring chat with a compassionate therapist who understands the challenges of being a writer (which Maisel happens to be).”—Susan K. Perry, Writing in Flow

“As writer Rick Bass observed in The Raccoons of Yaak (Orion, Spring 1999) ‘Art (is) the desire to make order and meaning out of otherwise random elements.’ This definition fits neatly into Eric Maisel’s keen explication of writers and the forces that move them. Maisel calls writers ‘meaning-makers,’ and while recognizing that everyone seeks some level of meaning in life, he posits that those called to write have a stronger urge to seek and explain the world’s ways.

“Writer’s formalize the thoughts that others are content to quietly mull. Further, it is Maisel’s position that deep writing is an imperative goal for writers and would-be writers, whatever their interim aspirations. To tap the truest feelings, the profoundest thoughts, the wellspring of personal understanding, and communicate as clearly as possible requires depth. It doesn’t matter if the project is a training manual, a sales brochure, a popular novel or an intellectually turbid masterpiece, a screenplay, a memoir, a doctoral thesis or … a book review.

“If you currently write or have ever had the notion, or in the broader context have ever been drawn to express meaning through art, you will find sage counsel and some clever tricks in DEEP WRITING. Eric Maisel works with artists as a psychotherapist and creativity counselor both in private practice and writing workshops, and has written numerous fiction and non-fiction books. He clearly understands that the differences between wanting to write and writing (and ‘only’ writing versus deep writing) are not creative but psychological.

“His observations resonate with my own creative experience: twenty years of good intentions and sporadic jabs that finally crossed an invisible border ten years ago from intent to imperative, from ‘someday’ to NOW. Two days past reading Maisel’s slim, insightful book, his clarity has already changed my work and my relationship to my work in deeply satisfying ways. In short, DEEP WRITING is the best writer’s road atlas I have stumbled into — ever — a Fodor’s guide to the creative interior land of high art.”—Cecil Bothwell, Whale Falls and The Icarus Glitch

“Many potential writers want to write but are stuck on the blank first page. Others write an endless array of words whose content (if there is any) means nothing and leaves one dry. Enter Eric Maisel, a writer’s analyst, coach, and encourager who shares with us seven principles of becoming a deep writer.

“What does he mean by writing deeply? He means for us to be able to write passionately and well about those things that really matter to us. Using case studies of five individual writers, he shows us how to work through the principles of hushing the mind, holding the intention, making choices, honoring the process, befriending the work, evaluating the work and doing what is required. Each principle builds on the other to a point where writing becomes a spiritual exercise.

“I love this book because it enabled me to reflect and pay attention to my own writing. Its varied principles and quirky exercises stimulated my mind and fostered new ideas for the printed page. Purchasing Deep Writing was almost like having my own personal coach to help me become more intentional in what I do as a writer. Maisel is intentional as to what he wants a writer to do and keeps one to the grindstone. He deals with the reality of what encompasses the writing business and how we must make choices in dealing with those realities. I highly recommend this work to all writers who wish to write with integrity and passionately.”—Bonita Davis

“This is perhaps one of the best books on writing I have ever read. Maisel offers writers exercises to help them tune into their own unique voice while offering encouragement all along the way. Not just a book about technique or ‘tricks of the trade’ this book will address the complicated aspects of living life as a writer and remaining sane at the same time! This book needs to be on the shelf of every writer regardless of where they are in their career. A moving and ‘deeply written’ work.”—David Oliveras


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