Living The Writer’s Life

“Repeated rejection. Writer’s block. Isolation. Alcoholism. Day jobs. Criticism. Low self-esteem. Narcissism. Addictions. Writing poorly. Poverty. Arrogance. Depression. A writer’s life tends to invite all of the above, and more. In Living the Writer’s Life, therapist and writer Eric Maisel, who specializes in counseling writers, sets out to “help you handle the many obstacles and challenges that come with the writing life.” Books about writing commonly broach these types of issues as inevitabilities that writers must learn to deal with. Maisel’s book shows you how.

“Through the use of role playing, personal anecdotes (one contributor writes about the value of earning an M.F.A. later in life), multiple-choice questions, quizzes, topical comments from renowned writers, and other models, Maisel encourages his readers to avoid the pitfalls of the writer’s life. This is a serious workbook that can be used by writers (and other creative types, with little adjustments here and there) individually, in pairs, or in groups.” Jane Steinberg, review

“Whereas Deep Writing addressed the creative process, Living the Writer’s Life considers a wider canvas, namely what is a writer’s life like and how it can be made more productive and happier. The table of contents shows just what Maisel tackles: a writer’s work, her education, his craft, the personality of a writer, a writer’s challenges, her strengths, his relationships, the world of a writer, and a writer’s career. As in his earlier work, the author doesn’t merely disgorge theory plus a few examples, and then offer advice, he uses a variety of techniques (exercises, discussion questions, anecdotes, role plays, question-and-answer pieces, exercises, and solicited pieces) to make his points. It’s an easy-to-read, yet highly profound mix of methods, and in every section I found not only a framework which seemed readily recognizable to me, but more importantly, approaches that will be of use to me in my own fiction writing career. I was captivated and enlightened from start to finish.

“As with his previous book, I cannot recommend Living the Writer’s Life too highly for the serious, committed writer, whether published or a wannabe. For those just dipping their toes into the writing life, it would be a useful book to appreciate the gamut of challenges and joys that writing brings, although I suspect a couple of other basic texts (such as Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird” and Sol Stein’s “Stein on Writing”) would be needed. Another indispensable aid from Eric Maisel for serious writers and curious would-be-writers.” – Andres Kabel

“Whether you write for yourself or others, and whether you are a beginning writer or somewhere further along the road toward authorship, this book will be useful. Writer and psychotherapist Eric Maisel speaks volumes in this one small book, clearly explaining the obstacles and rewards to the writer’s life.

Filled with good ideas, humor, and encouragement, Eric Maisel has written a book that is infinitely accessible and interesting. I highly recommend it!” – Lori Lake, Midwest Book Review


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