#WritersRead: The Five Books that Most Shaped My Writing by Nancy Levin
I’m thrilled to welcome Nancy Levin to the blog. She’s here to talk about the books that have shaped her writing—and it’s a delicious list! We’re also celebrating with her the release of her wonderful new book: Jump…and Your Life Will Appear. After you read the post, enter to win a signed copy of the book! -Rochelle, The Write Now! Coach
Writers Read: The 5 Books That Most Shaped My Writing by Nancy Levin
So, after nearly two years of pouring my soul into my new book, Jump…And Your Life Will Appear: An Inch-by-Inch Guide To Making A Major Change it is finally here – and landing in people’s hands and hearts.
When I received my very first copy the other day, I never expected to sit right down and read it. The whole thing. Cover to cover. In one sitting. Upon closing it, I burst into tears. It was crystal clear to me that everything I had experienced in my life led me to this very moment. I saw both the chaotic, messy backside of my tapestry with all the strings hanging off and I saw the intricate, elaborate front, showcasing my artful integration. And for the first time ever, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. It’s true what my dear friend and mentor Debbie Ford said, “Everything that has happened, is happening and will happen is in divine order for you soul’s evolution.”
As I was reading the final book, I also noticed things I wanted to edit. Not your average typo, but concepts and insights. And yet, I knew that if I read this book every day, I’d want to keep making changes to it. Because every day I am making changes to me.
So instead I had to make peace with this book being out in the world exactly as it is–just like I am–not easy for a recovering Type A-perfectionist. And then I started to think of it as a photograph—a snapshot of me at a specific time. And evolving, still.
This is precisely why I love memoir and poetry. The ability to capture a specific period or moment in time. Stacked up beside me, these are the books–the companions and confidants–always near me when i write.
Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser: Elizabeth’s unbridled honesty about the choices she made in times of challenge and transition captivated my heart. Her courage to rise again gave way to mine. Brave.
Devotion by Dani Shapiro: I love the way this book moves back and forth in time as an archeological dig through Dani’s past and how it informs her present. Magnificent.
Heaven’s Coast by Mark Doty: A masterful memoir by a poet, what could be more mesmerizing, as Mark holds us close witness the death of his lover from AIDS. An intimate and gorgeous book like no other.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion: A spotlight on an accelerated period in the life of one of the most extraordinary writers of our time. Not to be missed. This book still haunts me. It became a one-woman show on Broadway with Vanessa Redgrave. Brilliant and breathtaking.
The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford: Using herself as a model, Debbie shows us how our own dark underbelly can emerge transformed in the light and how our quest to return to wholeness begins with embracing the parts of us we have previously disowned. Raw and courageous.
*Bonus – What The Living Do by Marie Howe: Her searing poetry, specific and particular, bares all…love, grief, truth. Each piece, a gem.
Your turn: Ask Nancy Levin a question or share your favorite inspirational guide!
About the author. Nancy Levin, author of Jump … And Your Life Will Appear and Writing For My Life, is a Certified Integrative Coach through The Ford Institute For Transformational Training. Since 2002, she’s been the Event Director at Hay House, Inc. producing experiential events and innovative conferences, focusing on self-empowerment, health and spirituality, while weaving in her own story and poems to connect with audiences around the world during keynotes, workshops and seminars. When she’s not on an airplane, Nancy lives in Boulder, Colorado where she received her MFA from Naropa University. You can visit her online at www.nancylevin.com. Visit her on Twitter and Facebook.
Thanks for the list of books that inspired you. I was inspired by Stephen King’s memoir, iOn Writing.
I want to read all the books you have suggested. They each appeal in a different way to me. Blessings on your book. It, too, sounds like a transforming read.