The Art of Slow Writing: Reflections on Time, Craft, and Creativity

Louise DeSalvo
Published in 2014
by St. Martin’s Press

“Slow writing is a meditative act: slowing down to understand our relationship to our writing, slowing down to determine our authentic subjects, slowing down to write complex works, slowing down to study our literary antecedents,” writes Louise DeSalvo in the introduction to this guide examining the benefits of taking time to explore one’s creative process. Within this five-part book, the award-winning teacher and writer walks writers through preparing to write, understanding patience and humility, the challenges and successes of writing, the importance of rest, and how to build a book. The guide includes inspirational anecdotes from classic and contemporary writers such as Michael Chabon, Junot Díaz, Salman Rushdie, Zadie Smith, John Steinbeck, and Virginia Woolf. Throughout the book, DeSalvo encourages writers to explore the complexities of craft by getting to know one’s stories and oneself more fully over time. “[Slow writing] acknowledges that we are all beginners and insists we cultivate empathy for ourselves because being a writer isn’t easy,” writes DeSalvo. “Slow writing is a way to resist the dehumanization inherent in a world that values speed. It’s one way to find—or return to—our authentic selves.”