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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Best books about writing?

My vacation was fun, but not exactly what I had expected. My team (the Boston Bruins) have gone from first to worst. Stanly Cup to bottom of the Eastern Conference. But all good Bostonians know that this is just right and proper. Boston fans have to be in it for the long haul, you have to be in a city that went 89 years without a world series win and 39 without a Stanly Cup. I got to see one win and one loss on my vacation the games were fun.

I only mention that because I write about hockey.

The best book I ever read about writing is a book called “hockey tough” It was written by a sports psychologist who seems to mostly work with NHL and NFL players. I had never thought that sport and writing had a lot in common until I read the book. I think of writing as a solitary pursuit and team sports as – well – team sports. Even though I write about players I’d never really thought of how much time they must spend alone. I knew, intellectually, that most NHL players pretty much spend their afternoons alone, sleeping or playing video games or yoga or what have you. One of my favorite players often does a skating practice in the afternoon, alone.

I guess we all do our important work alone, even when we work in a team.

Hockey Tough talks a lot about persevering and getting yourself through touch spots. It also talks about trusting your support people. And what to do when everything is not going our way.

I’m stuck in the doldrums of the center of my book. The part where it’s not exciting anymore. I don’t really want to work on it anymore. I will, of course, and I will finish this book. I have time, it’s not due to the editor until the beginning of March. Mind you I want to have a first draft done by January 1st to give me time to re-write.

Being in the doldrums makes me think of Hockey Tough. I may do some of the exercises from the book and get back on track.

The best book I’ve ever read about writing has nothing to do with writing at all. How about you? What is the best book you’ve ever read about writing, and was it supposed to be about writing?