Dancing on the Head of a Pen

September 12, 2014 by


I had the privilege this week of reading Robert Benson’s short, yet beautifully penned book Dancing on the Head of a Pen: The Practice of a Writing Life.

In a quest to answer the often asked question “Can you tell me how to write a book?”, he has written an almost poetic manual for the writer who attempts to do just that. In a style that is a joy to read, yet easy to understand, Mr. Benson takes the reader on a personal, yet helpful, journey in his art of putting pen to paper.

Giving due credit to his favorite authors, he shares with his readers the books that have helped influence and shape his writing style. He speaks of acclaimed writers who encourage him in his endeavor to write meaningful words. He teaches the reader the value of reading those who have come before us.

Mr. Benson shares how to begin and end a book. In between, he shares his tried-and-true, tips on being a disciplined and committed writer.

regardless of how long one has been writing. It is a quick, but helpful read that both beginning and experienced writers can glean wisdom from.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

And I learned the value of slow. I learned not to chase the words but to listen for them. 

Good writing takes time.

Hurry is not a proper posture for a writer.

Determined is the proper posture for a writer.

A direct relationship exists between the caliber of the writing you read and the caliber of the writing you make.

“Art is prayer”, says Joseph Zinker. “And both need time to grow in the direction of the thing to which they are being drawn.”

For more information, you can visit his website at robertbensonwriter.com. 

To purchase his book for the writer in your life (from Amazon), click here.

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. You are not obligated to make any purchases, but when you do through one of my links or the Amazon search box to the right, I will make a small percentage on the sale. Thank you for supporting my site.

FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. 

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What do you think? Have you read this book? Do you have a favorite book on writing you would like to recommend?

Shared on Creative Home Keeper.

8 Responses to Dancing on the Head of a Pen

  1. Adrienne

    Hi Heather,

    If you’re a writer or eager to write a book this sounds like it’s a really great read. I wish I had more time for just leisurely reading but I don’t. Bummer but I’m not also intending to write a book either. LOL!!!

    Thanks for the review and great job.


    P.S. Love your blog, really nice.

    • Heather

      It was a quick read if that helps, Adrienne. This book is helpful to any writer, not just those who want to write books. I know what you mean about finding time for leisurely reading, though. Thanks for the comment on the blog. I appreciate that.

  2. Robert Benson

    Thank you for taking the time to read my work in the first place, for saying such nice things about it, and for sharing it with you friends.
    Keep punching holes in the darkness. Evidently, that is how the Light of the world sneaks in among us.

    Namaste —

    R. Benson

    • Heather

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, Mr. Benson. One of my teenagers, who wants to be a writer, read your book and often tells me, “Robert Benson says….” Blessings to you and yours.

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