Our Endless and Proper Work: Starting (and Sticking to) Your Writing Practice

By Ron Hogan

Writer and editorial consultant Ron Hogan offers insight into why writers write, and why it's worth it to keep writing, whether you ever get published or not.

Many people pick up the guitar without eyeing a career as a professional musician, or start painting without caring if they get a gallery. But with writing the assumption seems to be that the goal must be to get published.

Why? Why is it acceptable to attain technical proficiency at "Stairway to Heaven" or plein air watercolors as a hobby, while writing is expected to earn its keep? In Our Endless and Proper Work, the second in Belt’s series of books about writing and publishing—along with Belt founder Anne Trubek’s So You Want to Publish a Book? (2020)—Ron Hogan argues writing should be an end in itself for more people. The founder of the literary site Beatrice, and creator of the popular newsletter Destroy Your Safe and Happy Lives, Hogan offers concrete steps to help writers develop ongoing creative practice in chapters such as “Reclaiming Your Time for Writing,” “Finding Your Groove,” and “Preparing Yourself for the Long Haul.” Sprinkled throughout are adorable illustrations by “Positive Doodles” creator Emm Roy.

This concise, inspirational book speaks to this moment, when the number of aspiring but non-published writers—and the avenues by which they might become published—is burgeoning. With it, Hogan encourages all people to take up writing not, as so many other handbooks and resources suggest, in order to make money or become famous, but because it can help you become a happier, more whole and engaged person. As the Mary Oliver poem from which he takes his title exhorts: “To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”

Ron Hogan has been an industry analyst for a media website, a digital marketing director for a publishing house, a freelance book reviewer, and an acquiring editor for a startup book publisher. He is the founder of the literary site Beatrice, and creator of a popular newsletter about developing your writing practice, "Destroy Your Safe and Happy Lives."

Praise for Our Endless and Proper Work

“The most thoughtful, engaging, encouraging book I’ve ever read about how hard it is to be a writer and why you should do it anyway.”New York Times bestselling author Sarah Knight

"A lot of writing advice just piles more expectations onto an already fraught process. In Our Endless and Proper Work, Ron Hogan helped me clear out the mental clutter around my writing and get back to basics. An accessible book that packs an impressive amount of wisdom and pragmatic advice into each chapter.—Mason Currey, author of Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

"In this invigorating little book, Ron Hogan offers practical tips for a successful writing practice alongside what is ultimately a philosophy of how to make a mindful and joyful adventure of one's life. I was recharged by each page, and I know I will return to this wisdom when I'm in my inevitable next writing rut." —Raechel Anne Jolie, author of Rust Belt Femme

JUNE 8, 2021 | ISBN: 978-1-948742-94-8 | WRITING | PAPERBACK | 5 X 7 | 126 PAGES


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