Dancing on the Head of a Pen

Being a writer, I’m always on the lookout for books on writing.  Last month when I found myself between books (A horrible feeling to have if you’re as voracious a reader as I am) I stumbled across Dancing on the Head of a Pen:

A short little book packed with amazing detail.  This book won’t tell you how to write.  It will give you one writer’s advice about how HE writes.  You’re free to take his advice or find another way.  So much of what he says he does I do as well.  For example:
I also recommend that writers be a bit of a pack rat. Keep a swipe file. Collect quotes. Collect ads and refer to this swipe file when at a loss for what to write.
Page 124.

I do this ALL the time.  I keep all my quotes and passages close at hand in Google Docs or Google Keep.  I loved Dancing on the Head of a Pen for so many reasons.  Robert Benson talks about wearing three hats when he writes:
A Black Beret.
A New York Yankees Baseball hat, The Gamer, he calls it.
The third hat is a Brown Fedora.

Benson wears each hat at different times in the writing process.  The beret he wears while just beginning a new writing project.  This is the hat he wears when he’s writing the first draft. Her writes just six hundreds words a day, something I found interesting because I write so much more than that a day.  My goal each day 1,250 each day or around 5 pages.  It’s like I said earlier:
You’re free to take his advice or find another way.

In one of the more humorous passages from Dancing on the Head of a Pen, Robert Benson writes:

Eventually my friends aim the work question in my direction.
“Are you still writing?” is what they ask me.

No one ever asks an architect if he’s still designing buildings or a teacher if she’s still going to school every day. Writing a book is so foreign to many folks it is evidently hard for them to grasp the notion that one might do it more than once.

Whether working on a book or not, a writer should always be writing.
Page 118-119.

A writer should always be writing, be it a manuscript, be it notes for something larger, be it a journal.  Whatever it is, a writer writes.  I definitely resonated with this book and if you’re a writer, aspire to be one or know a writer, I highly recommend reading this.  This book will give you insight into a writer’s world.

Until next time…
…Turn the page.



Dancing on the Head of a Pen

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