It’s been a while since we did a book review here, so I thought I’d share with you about a book I just finished reading – Writing from the Senses. This book fits in with some of the recent posts we been doing on observation and mindfulness.
Writing from the Senses
60 Exercises to Ignite Creativity and Revitalize Your Writing
by Laura Deutsch
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
The sensory details that infuse our everyday experience—the smell of a favorite dish cooking, the texture of a well-worn coat, hearing a song that reminds you of a person or a time in your life—can be used to add richness and spark to what we write. Whether you are a professional writer (or want to be one) or someone who enjoys just writing for your own personal fulfillment, Writing from the Senses will show you how to tap into an endless source of engaging material, using your senses as prompts. The exercises will stimulate you to develop stories, imagery, and details that will allow readers to see, taste, hear, smell, and feel that they’re in the scene.
Writing from the Senses
•Provides 60 prompts and creative writing exercises organized by sense;
•Presents engaging narratives, personal essays, and instruction to entertain and inform readers and illustrate the effectiveness of each exercise;
•Helps writers recognize the sensory prompts that surround them daily and use them to trigger their individual stories; and
•Shows how free writes from the prompts in this book can result in publishable pieces.
About the author
Laura Deutsch is the author of Writing from the Senses, published by Shambhala in 2014. A world traveler, Laura leads writing workshops from Tassajara to Tuscany, and has taught writing at the University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco State University, Book Passage, Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, in southwest France, and in Tuscany, Italy. Her popular workshops include Writing from the Senses, Personal Essay and Memoir, Writing as a Spiritual Practice, and How to Get Into Print. Laura’s coaching clients have had their work published in top-tier magazines, newspapers, books, and other media.
Laura’s personal essays and features have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco magazine, MORE magazine, Time Out, Eating Well, and many other publications. Her writing has been published in several anthologies, including Best Women’s Travel Writing and Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, and has aired on public radio.
Following her graduation from Bryn Mawr College, Laura was a guest editor at Mademoiselle magazine. Her studies included a year in Europe and a year in Mexico as a Fulbright Scholar. Laura holds a J.D. degree from the University of Chicago Law School. Prior to specializing in writing and teaching, she served as trial counsel, corporate counsel, and law clerk to a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals.
A sample exercise from Writing From The Senses
Paying attention to how much food we take in—its tastes and textures, chewing sufficiently, and swallowing—helps us be in the present moment and explore the entire sensory experience.
Brief Review :
While there were some great exercises in the book, some of them were ones I’ve come across before. Also, the author included too much of her own writing as examples. This somehow puts you off from trying the exercises yourself.
My takeaway :
It’s important for us as writes to become more aware of ourselves and allow our senses to guide us in our writing.
If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away. Sanch of Living My Imperfect Life and Write Tribe give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up between Friday and Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.
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Our featured writer last week was Sunaina who shared one amazing thing with us.
If you wish to be a featured writer, join us in writing on the weekly prompts and wow us with your writing!
Prompts for this week:
1. Worst travel experience ever
2. If you ran the country, what would you do?
3. 21 random facts about me
4. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” – J K Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Use this quote in your post or as an inspiration for one.
5. Picture Prompt (courtesy Living my Imperfect Life)