I didn't technically finish this. I don't usually rate books I don't finish, but I did not get much out of this book, although this probably had to doI didn't technically finish this. I don't usually rate books I don't finish, but I did not get much out of this book, although this probably had to do with it not being suited to the audiobook format. The sections were poorly delineated, so it wasn't clear whose perspective you were hearing. I wish the author had written it all from her perspective and kept the tone more cohesive and consistent. The narrator was inappropriately chipper at times. (It was like a kindergarten teacher telling her students about how badass she is. It didn't work.) There weren't many clear or strong messages, and most of the stories were not about specific mistakes or failures per se, but more generally about the difficulties they faced and how they overcame them, which isn't quite the same thing (or maybe it is and my expectations were wrong). It didn't help that I fell asleep or just entirely stopped paying attention during some points. I may have gotten more out of it at a different time in my life and/or career, but I didn't enjoy it at this stage....more
Slowly made its way to the heart of what is difficult about writing (and making art) and eventually gave some practical tools and guidance to make itSlowly made its way to the heart of what is difficult about writing (and making art) and eventually gave some practical tools and guidance to make it manageable. I am that jerk who doesn't appreciate Lynda Barry's drawing/collage style (too chaotic and overwhelming for me), but this book is great in spite of it. It was also unbalanced -- I was thinking of giving up before the 'two questions' section, and then with the writing exercises I totally gave in. Wonderful stuff.
The exercises connected with me especially because I recently started making lists and thinking about memories from my childhood. The revelation that the image is the thing (which I knew before but forget when people say that emotion is the thing or action is the thing or character is the thing) was illuminating for me. The idea that childhood is a neighbourhood is spot on -- there are many different neighbourhoods in my head and in my memory. The images living in those neighbourhoods are what connects to emotions and action and character.
Her emphasis on play also meant a lot to me because I play with my nieces and nephews a lot, and the way they play is fascinating, but while I go along with what they're doing, I'm not as engaged with their point of view as I could be. I guess I am a little self-absorbed and always keep a foot in the grown-up door so I can switch into adult mode when I need to. But they and I would have more fun if I just gave in and tried to see what they were seeing, instead of playing on my own terms.
So that's me -- but this book is great for those who are worrying about whether their work is any good and are looking for practical ways to get unstuck and are not afraid to explore the memories of things that might be painful or horrible or shameful....more
Hahaha yeah. Useful perspective on working with people at different points along the thinker/feeler and introvert/extrovert spectrums, and adapting yoHahaha yeah. Useful perspective on working with people at different points along the thinker/feeler and introvert/extrovert spectrums, and adapting yourself to them rather than expecting them to adapt to you. Also lots of goofy humour....more