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Walking on Alligators: A Book of Meditations for Writers
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Walking on Alligators: A Book of Meditations for Writers

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  175 ratings  ·  27 reviews
A daily motivator for people who write--and for all those who long to write--providing an insistent wake-up call for the creative urge, with insights on how to work against resistance, live with the loneliness, develop discipline, and dare to take deeper risks in their work.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 19th 1993 by HarperOne
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Feb 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
I cannot emphasize this enough -- writing books, especially the ones done well, are replete with how-to-live-a-good-life wisdom. Even though this book is written with a writer in mind, many of the practices suggested would streamline effortlessly into any goal or ambition one has. It is absolutely an inspiration + reference I will use regularly.
Jeffe Kennedy
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I mentioned this book today on my podcast ( and that prompted me to pop in here and rate/review it. I picked this up in 1993 when it first came out. I spotted it on a table at my local indie bookstore and, as I was just in the beginning stages of figuring out how to be a writer, it really called to me. I've kept it on my shelf all these years and often come back to it - and all the pages I have marked with c ...more
Jul 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
well, this should really be on my "currently reading" shelf because i do read it one day at a time. but then it would probably never be marked as "read"!

a super great resource for any kind of writer! it uses quotes from famous authors and then a blurb that expounds on the quote. it really encourages you to be writing every day and not give up!
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: writing
This was not what I expected. The idea is to read one page a day. Each page has a quote from a famous author or artist, then underneath it Susan Shaughnessy rewords it into encouragement for writing. It seemed like a great idea, but of the first 45 pages, 16 of the entries were about writing when you don't want to. Not even about overcoming uninspiration, just about writers who wallow and complain. As Susan words it, the "counterdrive not to write." I can't believe that writers have one of the b ...more
This is a collection of quotes about writing in the real world that helped me.

Writing is my passion, sure. But sometimes I'm sick of reading quotes that imply writing is easy or simple. It isn't.

Here is one quote that I particularly liked:

“Talent isn’t good enough. In fact, too much talent can stunt good work. We all remember the classmate whose casual excellence at a sport, a subject—maybe at life itself—presaged a life of stumbling. This too-talented person never got t
Andrew Shaffer
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great book of inspiration to dip in and out of.
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a gem. One of the best inspirational books on writing you could ever find.
Christine Ellis-Miller
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great reading for all writer's!
Joyce Barrass
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: writers, artists, creatives
Shelves: non-fiction
A lifesaver for creatives. Keeps me sane when I'm chipping away at a big writing project. Love the way each entry has a quote to inspire and a really practical suggestion to head you straight back to the page. Never far from my elbow.
Annemieke Windt
Dec 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is one more book I've bought when I started teaching writing skills. I've become intruiged by the process of people's creativity. Susan Shaughnessy has one message for everyone who wishes to be creative: just set a time limit per day and turn up for the work. Walking on Alligators is not a book that shows techniques, instead it offers small nuggets of wisdom from people who have gone out and wrote. Think of Virginia Wolf, Isaac Baashevis Singer and John Grisham. It even includes a quote fro ...more
May 26, 2010 added it
"In nearly all the important transactions of live, indeed in all transactions whatever which have relation to the future, we have to tae a leap in the dark....When we are to take any important resolution to adopt a profession to make an offer of marriage, to enter upon a speculation, to write a book - to do anyting, in a word, which involved important conswquences - we have to act for the best, and in nearly every case to act upon very imperfect evidence" - Sir James Fitzjames Stephen
"My m
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a must for every writer, published or not! The book gives daily mediations and affirmations to help provide you with inspiration and encouragement to continue writing. I read this book almost every day, having read it over several times and each time, I discover new inspiration each time. Most of the time, the page I am reading, pertains to me and just what I need for that day.
Mar 07, 2009 is currently reading it
A page a day for writers... it is thought provoking. "Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow that talent to the dark place where it leads" Erica Jong followed by "Writing can feel like stepping off into thin air" (p. 5)
Gabrielle Carolina
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you are a writer it is IMPERATIVE that you own a copy of ALLIGATORS ASAP! A mix of devotional, inspirational daily calendar and Stephen King's On Writing, Alligators is everything you need to keep trudging the writer's path.
Zhigang Huo
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
From time to time, I read words, sentences or paragraphs in a meditation over and over again so I could memorize them. I treasure my memories of those over-an-hour commutes with this book in hand.
My inner calling becomes "I will write today". I do think this is an excellent time management book.
Mar 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wordy, bought
It's full of little pick-me-ups to get you through the day.

Nov 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
inspiration for writers, with quotes from famous writers
Feb 21, 2012 added it
Walking on Alligators : A Book of Meditations for Writers by Susan Shaughnessy (1993)
Jun 12, 2008 rated it liked it
Interesting gems of wisdom from published authors dealing with all the complexities that writers face.
Ikhsanun Pratama
Nov 02, 2010 is currently reading it
Luar biasa,,
memeditasi para caloon penulis, penulis amatir, maupun senior utk selalu berkarya. memberi spirit yang oke punya
Christyna Hunter
Apr 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Some clever and inspiring verbage for aspiring and current writers.
Linda DiMeo Lowman
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I did not include a finish date since I use this as a writing meditation and motivational book.
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May 26, 2009
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