Writing a first book is such an intimidating project for me, that it's helpful to have Benson's friendly advice book "Dancing on the Head of a Pen: The Practice of a Writing Life" on the desk next to my computer. What I love most about this book is its gentle tone. Benson gives ideas for structure and discipline, but he doesn't demand that his way is the only way for me to create books.
Benson encouraged me to think of my "writing" as "my life" and not strictly the hours I spend searching for words put on an blank Google Document. His delicate sentences contain a lot of depth. "Books are meant to be written and then discussed. The other way round can be deadly." (pg. 151). "Write for those you love... They may not be the most critical readers, but they will be the most important, because they will be the ones who keep you writing. They are the ones who always grin when they see your words coming." (pg. 65).
The world is not always a kind one to new writers. Thank goodness Benson lends a little of his cheerful confidence to us in "Dancing on the Head of a Pen!"