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About Dancing on the Head of a Pen

In this masterful blend of the practical and the spiritual, Robert Benson invites you into the work and rewards of a writer’s life. More than a primer on effective writing, Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a winsome guide to the place in the heart where the life of the spirit meets the life of art.
 
Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a pure delight to read. Encouraging, honest, practical, and important. I needed this book.”
—Melody Carlson, author of more 200 books including Finding Alice 
 
“With deceptive simplicity and an almost seductive easiness in his voice, Benson lays open before us the filigreed mystique of the writing life in all its beauty, its unmitigated angst, and its inescapable vocation.”
—Phyllis Tickle, author of numerous books including The Divine Hours
 
“Robert Benson’s Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a gem. It is wise, witty, and inspiring—a trifecta seldom achieved by a book on the writing life.”
—James Scott Bell, bestselling author of Plot & Structure
 

After some forty years and nearly twenty books, I have learned I do not know about a lot of things, but I do know how to write a book. Some of these things are habits stolen from other writers, writers far better than I am. Some are disciplines I stumbled upon to feed both the caliber of the writing and the work of being a writer. Some of them are practices I discovered on my own after years of dancing on the head of a pen.
Robert Benson
 
The Life of the Spirit Meets the Life of Art
 
A compelling combination of advice and inspiration, Dancing on the Head of a Pen will challenge and encourage writers, artists, musicians, painters—anyone drawn to a life of artistic expression.
 
Digging deeply into his own writing habits, failures, and successes, Robert Benson helps you choose the ideal audience for your work, commit to it, and overcome the hurdles that inevitably confront both aspiring artists and accomplished professionals.
Extending beyond the craft of writing, this gentle book moves into a rich discussion on the relationship between spirituality and art. Including wisdom from revered writers past and present, Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a beautiful mosaic of inspiration, practical help, and a glimpse into the disciplines that shape one writer’s life.

Praise

Praise for Dancing on the Head of a Pen

“Robert Benson’s Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a gem. It is wise, witty, and inspiring—a trifecta seldom achieved by a book on the writing life.”
—James Scott Bell, best-selling author of Plot & Structure

“With deceptive simplicity and a kind of almost-seductive easiness in his voice, Robert Benson lays open before us the filigreed mystique of the writing life in all its beauty, its unmitigated angst, and its inescapable vocation. This one is a classic.”
—Phyllis Tickle, author of The Divine Hours

“I needed this book. And I need to read it again—and probably again. Thank goodness, it’s a pure delight to read. Encouraging, honest, practical, and important. If you’re a writer—or have any aspirations to become one—Robert Benson’s words will resonate deeply within you. I will highly recommend this to all my writer friends and even the writer friends I haven’t yet met.”
—Melody Carlson, author of more than 200 books, including Finding Alice and Diary of a Teenage Girl series

“There is little more enjoyable for a writer than to read about the craft, especially when the book is fashioned with the grace and style of Robert Benson’s prose. You don’t even have to be a writer to savor this delicacy. Just do yourself a favor and settle in for a treat that goes down like dessert but is also full of nutrition. I read everything I can find on writing, and I loved this.”
—Jerry B. Jenkins, novelist and biographer

“I love reading and spending time with what Robert Benson writes. I think it is because his words and God’s Spirit meet and dance on each page. In this book Benson generously shares how writing becomes art. Dancing on the Head of a Pen is direction for struggling writers and balm for the bruised writer’s heart.”
—Sharon Ewell Foster, author of the Christy Award–winner Passing by Samaria and Shaara Prize–winner The Resurrection of Nat Turner

About Robert Benson

Robert Benson is the author of numerous books, including The Echo Within, Digging In, and Home by Another Way. A retreat leader, Benson writes and speaks often on the life of prayer and contemplation, the practice of faith and spirituality, and the art and craft of writing. He is a graduate of and an adjunct faculty member for the Academy for Spiritual Formation, a program of The Upper Room. He is married to the literary agent Sara Fortenberry. Benson lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and he dances on the head of a pen every day no matter where he happens to be.

Product Details

192 pages | Published by WaterBrook

On Sale Date: Jul 15, 2014

Trim Size: 5 x 7-1/4

Carton Quantity: 12

Sneak Peek

The Life of the Spirit Meets the Life of Art

Click here to download chapter one of Dancing on the Head of a Pen.

A compelling combination of advice and inspiration, Dancing on the Head of a Pen will challenge and encourage writers, artists, musicians, painters—anyone drawn to a life of artistic expression. Digging deeply into his own writing habits, failures, and successes, Robert Benson helps you choose the ideal audience for your work, commit to it, and overcome the hurdles that inevitably confront both aspiring artists and accomplished professionals.

Click here to download chapter one of Dancing on the Head of a Pen.

 
 
 

By Abigail Benjamin

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...

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By Logan King

Few topics are as interesting to me as people discussing their job. Reasons for why someone is doing something - and how - provide an illuminating window to the author and often unexpected tips for their field and others. This was undoubtedly true as well with Dancing on the Head of a Pen.Author Robert Benson gives the reader a peek into his method of writing because as he says, he "only know[s] how Robert Benson writes a book." Filled with...

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By Sherrey Meyer

The title of Robert Benson's book, Dancing on the Head of a Pen: The Practice of a Writing Life, drew me in like a moth drawn to a flame. What was behind the choice of the words, "dancing on the head of a pen?" Was this just another book on writing? I'll answer both questions at the end of this review.Open the cover, flip past the title page, and get to know Robert Benson. Benson is a wordsmith beyond compare. He not only writes about the...

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By Cody Maynus

Robert Benson's Dancing on the Head of a Pen: The Practice of a Writing Life is just that: an tangible display of the real, lived life of an active writer. Benson is not an armchair author, writing only in the nooks and crannies of life. Indeed, he is an author whose very life is informed by his dedication to writing.When I first picked up this book, I imagined (and, in some ways, secretly hoped for) a "how to" guide on writing from a place...

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By Tammy Powley

Dancing on the Head of a Pen: The Practice of a Writing Life by Robert Benson is about writing and not writing and trying to write, basically how the life of a writer is challenging and rewarding at the same time. There is an obvious spiritual tone to the book, and when I looked up the author's biography this made some sense as he has written about faith related topics before writing this book.As someone who writer, or attempts to...

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