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  • Alyse Gray

Book recommendations for writers


Two books published this year that have been an inspiration for my writing are The Third Door by Alex Banayan and The Creative Curve by Allen Gannett.

The Third Door takes readers on a book writing journey filled with interviews and awkwardness. The author, who began writing as an unknown 18 year old college student, isn't afraid to show his human side and shares a number of anecdotes about tracking down famous people to get interviews, from stalking Larry King in a grocery store to hacking conferences. It's stuff I would do. It makes me feel not as alone.

The Creative Curve appeals to people who want to get their work out there. Some artists might see it as "selling out," but the author argues that creative genius may only be considered "genius" if it is recognized. He interviews a variety of creatives to understand their processes and postulates that there is a science behind creativity. Steps can be taken to intentionally enhance creativity and produce more "aha" moments. I am finding this to be true and it's been helpful to me in pulling together my book proposal. I do want this book to have mass appeal because I think it's important for people to get to know some of the careers I'm writing about. Thanks to this book, I have better direction.

Thanks for the inspiration, Alex and Allen.

These authors are very similar in many ways in that they are high energy, creative thinkers who learned how to interview people and write(I do hope they meet each other at some point). I also really want to hang out with them and have random adventures. It's on my bucket list. I don't know if it will happen. I already asked if they would be my friends in real life, but that didn't seem to go over well. I guess you can't do that when you're a grown up. I don't know why. Adulting sucks.

Anyway, something these authors both stress in their books is the importance of having a mentor, and I totally agree. Everyone should have mentors in their lives and, in turn, mentor others. I am pleased to have been able to mentor the techs at my work and incredibly proud that 4 of them have gone on to a pathologists' assistant graduate program, and 2 have gone to medical school. One even came back to us to work as a PA! One summer intern also went to medical school, and another to podiatry school(although they would have likely done this without me teaching them things, as they were the children of doctors and hospital admins). I consider these people's success part of my own success. Even with the book I am writing, I hope to teach people something that will help make their future better.

I am also thankful to have had several academic mentors and have received wonderful advice from many people as I write this book. Maybe it's because I don't have a dad, but I crave someone who I can really talk to. About writing a book, curing cancer, and great big, huge ideas. Someone who has been where I am and made it, who knows about the ups and downs, and can provide encouragement to keep going.. Outside of an academic setting, it's really hard to meet people. I know all relationships are give and take, but I also don't feel like I have anything to offer to anyone in return for them taking me under their wing, beyond gratefulness.

I don't know if I ever will find another mentor, I hope to, but I've sort of given up looking. In the meantime, I am glad to have found some good books that can be my friends through the sometimes extremely lonely process of writing.


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