For anyone who writes, wants to write, or dreams of writing…

I’ve come across some absolute gems by subscribing to Powell’s Books Review-a-Day service. One such book was Robert D. Richardson’s wonderful First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process.

I first checked this book out from my local library (love, love, love our library!), but within a couple of chapters I knew that I needed this one on my shelf. I needed to mark it up with notes in the margins and yellow highlighting. I needed it next to my bed so I can pick it up and read a few lines whenever I seek inspiration. I needed to write the author and thank him for such an inspirational volume!

Anyone with an interest in writing can meet your muse here. I’ll admit that I haven’t been a huge follower of Ralph Waldo Emerson. I’ve been sort of a “greatest hits” fan of his. With this book that all shifted. Part biography, part history, part advice on writing and the integral role that reading plays, I can’t speak highly enough of how excited I became reading page after page of First We Read.

When the connection is made between writer and reader, the text dissolves into the connection.

If you want to be a writer but you haven’t made the commitment, this little book will light your fire.

The best single bit of practical advice about writing Emerson ever gave–best because it is a cry from the heart, because it focuses on attitude not aptitude, and because it is as stirring as a rebel yell–is this: “The way to write is to throw your body at the mark when your arrows are spent.”

As the dust jacket so accurately states, “Whether a writer by trade or a novice, every reader will find something to treasure in this volume.