Excuse me while I gush but "Thirteen Ways of Looking at The Novel" (2005) by Jane Smiley was exactly the book for me to read right now.
Soon after submitting my memoir to AARP/Huffington Post early this year, I began my second foray into long form writing. So far, things haven't gone real well - a little writing here, long breaks, a little more work on my masterpiece, longer breaks, etc. Then, two breakthroughs:
* An inspiring workshop which included interaction and encouraging support from other aspiring writers.
* Smiley's terrific book - "Writing a novel is , above all, a habit." Precisely what I needed to hear. When was the last time a non-fiction book (vs. a character or voice from a novel) spoke that directly to you?
And "Thirteen Ways..." is not just for stuck wanna-be writers like me - it's a reader's feast. I can't recommend it highly enough. Goodreads - thanks for the recommendation; Jane - thanks for the kick in the ass and by the way, I loved your novel "A Thousand Acres".
"When a student is ready, a teacher appears" - Buddha