Pilgrim at Tinker Creek – A Light Into the Adventures of Writing

Author’s Note: This was originally written during my junior year of college. 


As an aspiring writer, I have chosen to major in English. In one of my courses we were required to read parts of Pilgrim At Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. At first I was worried about the book, but in the end it helped to open my eyes to a new way of writing. One could say it was a type of light that could guide me on my way.

This book is an autobiography of Annie Dillard’s time at Tinker Creek, but she adds things in that she has read. She has these little tidbits of knowledge about the creatures and the nature about her. The author gives credit where it is due, to the original author of her sources, but the way she integrates it helped me to understand how to write better.

While research papers are not my strong suit, it has helped me to be a better writer. It has had me look at things in a different light. She mixes in the information she has with her memories and at times seem to jump, but that is why one is forced to look closely at the connections. The connections may not be clear at first; however, if you keep looking, you can find the answers you seek.

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek isn’t a book I would have thought to read willingly, and to be honest, I wouldn’t have remembered half what I read if I had. It isn’t a book I would want to willingly sit and read. Thankfully, I was forced to look deeper into Dillard’s work. Because of this, I actually did enjoy the book. It got confusing at times, but it also made me think. The connections could be found. It was like a puzzle game that I enjoyed.

If you like nature or something that could enlighten you to new ways of writing, I honestly suggest reading the book. It is an eye opener, or at least, it was for me. There are so many different types of writing styles that I now want to read everything I can just to enrich my knowledge of the different styles.



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