Katherine Anne Porter called courage "the first essential" for a writer. "I have to talk myself into bravery with every sentence," agreed Cynthia Ozick, "sometimes every syllable." E. B. White said he admired anyone who "has the guts to write anything at all."An author who has taught writing for more than thirty years, Ralph Keyes assures readers that anxiety is felt by writers at every level and can be harnessed to produce honest and disciplined work., Keyes offers specifics on how to make the best use of writers' workshops and conferences and how to handle criticism of works in progress; he also exposes the most common "false fear busters" (needing new equipment, a better setting, a new agent). Throughout, he includes the comments of many accomplished writers--Pat Conroy, Amy Tan, Rita Dove, Isabel Allende, and others--on how they transcended their own anxieties to produce great works.