The Group Jazz Chautuaqua is marking its 10th anniversary and they’re asking people who’ve taken part some questions about what they’re up to. I answered their questions and thought it would make do as a blog entry for today! (Does this qualify as a bit of Wu Wei, Evelyn?)
What are YOU reading this summer?
I start more books than I finish, and lately I’ve been reading only very short books. I’ve just finished “Management of the Absurd” by Richard Farson. However, despite this, I’ve started two medium sized-books, “Good Business” by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi and “Authentic Happiness” by Martin Seligman.
Describe a book that had a big influence on you. When did you read it? How did you come to read it? (was it recommended or assigned? did you just stumble across it?)
“The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. I read it about three years ago. I was half-attending to a TV interview with Jim Carrey and he (I think) used the words “The Power of Now”. I wasn’t really listening closely, but I got the impression that he and his interviewer were referrring to something they’d both read. It stuck in my brain and I looked it up on the net and bought it.
Reading it is like taking a cold shower when you’re used to warm ones, and where the difference shocks but also, if you let it, delights you. His writing style manages to be in your face without the annoying vehemence of many books that instruct you in what to do. I find his voice compelling so that this is not simply a book “about” being in the present; my experience is of being brought vigorously into the present just reading it. More and more I seek the blend of Simple yet Profound that, for me, this book embodies. (Hence my increasing preference for very short books!).
Do you have a favorite book on writing? Or, what advice do you have for people who are thinking about writing a book?
I’m sure I SHOULD have a favourite book on writing, but I don’t!
My advice for people should not be taken very seriously as I don’t follow it myself nearly enough of the time to speak with any authority. But it would be: when stuck, separate
judgement and editing
Give yourself permission to write anything and not worry for now whether its good or not. If that doesn