Cover of the novel 'Making a Literary Life,' by Carolyn See.

Hotlinked from Amazon.

I’ve been reading a lot the last few weeks. I finally finished The War of the Flowers, which was quite good, and now have moved on to The Last Unicorn, which was in the Humble Bundle. It’s been perfect reading-on-the-porch weather lately, so I’ve been catching up.

I also finished Making a Literary Life by Carolyn See, a book that someone on Reddit recommended. I really shouldn’t take recommendations from Reddit.

This book is actually very well reviewed on Goodreads, which I honestly don’t understand. My review is here, and I don’t think there’s anything more I can say about it.

I really enjoy the occasional “how to get yourself published” novel. But I’m too rational about it. I want techniques and concrete advice. I want exercises to do, guidance I can act on, and information about the industry. Whenever any “how to be a better writer/get published” book starts to weave toward the emotional and magical, I start to lose interest. I know writing is a creative art. But I’m just too practical about it–if being a good writer was just a matter of caring passionately enough, we’d all be best selling authors.