Dancing on the Head of a Pen by Robert Benson- A Book Review

Dancing coverI have always loved books. My wife might call it an obsession or maybe even an illness of sorts. With this love for books comes a fascination with how the words make it to the page. What do the life and disciplines of a writer look like? Robert Benson shares what works for him in his latest book, Dancing on the Head of a Pen: The Practice of a Writing Life.

Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a short, easy to read book full of practical insights for anyone desiring to assemble words on a page (or screen) for others to read. Each chapter focuses on one topic and Benson effectively ties in his own writing journey, including his victories and struggles, with a tip on making the writing process happen. Some of the tips he includes: Slow Down, speed kills; write at least 600 words per day; Wear the 3 hats (artist, editor, business), but only wear one hat at a time.

There is no shortage of books on writing to choose from. Some provide great help, others provide great help in starting a fire. Benson’s book falls into the former and I will share why. First, it is made up of short chapters that can be read quickly and the various points made without a lot of fluff and personal aggrandizement. Second, Benson doesn’t talk down and come across as “the expert” but walks alongside his fellow pilgrims on the writing journey. Lastly, it is practical and doable. The last thing a writer needs is something that seems out of reach and impractical to implement.

I recommend Dancing on the Head of a Pen for all writers, whether you simply journal or if you write professionally. Dancing will likely contain something you will benefit from. This one will be on my shelf next to On Writing by Stephen King, one of my other favorite books on writing.  So grab a copy of Dancing on the Head of a Pen, read it, and start writing.

(I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a review.)