[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: New World Library
Formats: Paperback, Kindle, eBook
Purchase: Powell’s | Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | iBooks[/alert]

Writing Wild: Forming a Creative Partnership with Nature by Tina Welling is dedicated to moving out of the head and into the body as a prerequisite for writing. The anecdote that begins the book, in which Welling describes a complete circle of memory and story she uncovers on a hike, was eye-opening and encouraging. However, even for a reader like this reviewer who has been to Jackson, Wyoming, several times, the anecdotes and examples begin to bog down the book. The first ten chapters in particular could have been condensed and perhaps examples could have been made available via a companion website for readers who need more guidance on a particular point.

Chapter twelve is the meatiest, most concise, and most helpful chapter, with solutions to writer’s block of various kinds that use metaphors from the natural world to enliven advice we may have heard before. Welling can also speak sympathetically about the struggle some writers have with choosing their craft over other paths in life.

Several exercises and meditations within the last few chapters are helpful as well, but the reader should be aware of this: most exercises are not geared towards furthering a specific writing project, but towards self-exploration. The book addresses developing a relationship with nature and the self as a method that occurs before the craft of writing itself. To cultivate mindfulness and awareness of the self in the world, Writing Wild is your guide.

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