A Writer's Workbook: Daily Exercises for the Writing Life

Paperback | June 14, 2002

byCaroline SharpForeword byElizabeth Gilbert

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Aspiring doctors have medical school. Karate students have belts of different colors. Pianists have scales and arpeggios. But what system do writers have for getting and staying "in shape," to help them focus, practice, and make progress?

A Writer's Workbook is Caroline Sharp's ingenious collection of exercises to inspire, encourage, warm up, and jump-start anyone who writes. A wise and funny friend who will cheerlead you through even your darkest can't-write days and "every idea I've ever had is awful" nights, she provides encouraging suggestions, hilarious observations, and an amazingly vivid catalogue of writers' neuroses (with advice on overcoming them, of course).

From "Roget's Resume" and "Emulating Ernest" to "End Well," "The Rewrite Rut," and "Dear John," the exercises in this generous, wry workbook will keep your ideas fresh, your mind open, and your pen moving.

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From the Publisher

Aspiring doctors have medical school. Karate students have belts of different colors. Pianists have scales and arpeggios. But what system do writers have for getting and staying "in shape," to help them focus, practice, and make progress?A Writer's Workbook is Caroline Sharp's ingenious collection of exercises to inspire, encourage, wa...

Caroline Sharp has a degree in psychology from Princeton University, an MFA from Columbia University, and is a graduate of the Writer's Boot Camp. The mother of two, she lives and writes in New York City.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 8.29 × 5.56 × 0.46 inPublished:June 14, 2002Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:031228621X

ISBN - 13:9780312286217

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreword by Elizabeth Gilbert
Introduction
How to Use This Workbook: A Few Suggestions

Obstacle Page, or . . . Reasons Why You just Can't Write-Today

WARM-UPS

Warm-up, Stretch, and Extend
One-liners: A Quick Warm-up Exercise
Stop 'n' Shop
Roget's Résumé

THE EXERCISES

Obstacle Page: What If You Don't Like Being Alone? Or Writing in the Company of Strangers

Step One: Your Journal Pages
Reviews: What Do You Think?
Character, Character, on the Wall
Picture This
Finish the Thought
Conversation Observation

Obstacle Page: Fear of Failure/Fear of Success, or "Fish of the Day"

Emulating Ernest
Your "Idea Book": A Lifetime Commitment
To Outline or Not to Outline?
Where Have You Gone?
Don't Know Much Geography . . . But I Should!
A Small Snack
If Breakfast Be the Meal of Love

Obstacle Page: Dyslexia and Other Physical Obstacles, or The Pen Is Mightier Than the Problem

Your Daily Grind
A Day in the Life
The Time of Their Lives
The Wrong Date and Time
Objects of Desire
Reuse, Rethink, Recycle

Obstacle Page: Writer's Block, or Surviving a Big Chill

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain
Triple Dare/Triple Scare, or How Low Will You Go?
The Wrong Brother
Plot, Plot, Fizz, Fizz
X Marks the Spot

Obstacle Page: The Rewrite Rut, or "My Name's Russell and I'm a Perfectionist"

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of
End Well
Lost and Found
Bad Appetites

Obstacle Page: The Committee, or Bad Guys: 65/Good Guys: 1

"Dear John . . ."
7-Up
One Last Thought

Appendix
Basic Etiquette for Reading and Responding to Your Peers' Work, or Miss Manners Comes to Your Writing Group

Bibliography
About the Author

Editorial Reviews

"A Writer's Workbook is the most generous favor to those among us who would write and could write, if only we could get down to work . . . This is a book for students, for professionals, for poets, for playwrights, for journalists and for those of you who don't even dare call yourself writers yet, except the most secret moments of the night." -Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Stern Men, from the Foreword"Opened-hearted, ardent, and encouraging. A must-have book for students and teachers alike." -Elise Paschen, Executive Director, Poetry Society of America, and author of Infidelities"With this charming, insightful, and indispensable guide, Caroline Sharp may very well have ended writer's block in our time." -Albert J. Zuckerman, author of Writing the Blockbuster Novel"A supportive and encouraging book every aspiring writer will find particularly useful." -Publishers Weekly