I have nothing to share about writing that is earth-shattering. What you’ll read here you probably already know. But like it is with all important things in our lives, it doesn’t hurt to hear certain things more than once. Here goes:
Often writers are told to be well-versed in their genre. This is excellent advice, but reading shouldn’t end there. Picking up books in genres other than your own brings freshness to your writing and strengthens what you ultimately create. This nourishes you as a reader, too.
None of us ever arrives. Our writing will improve if we continue to read craft blogs and books and take advantage of classes, critique groups, or conferences. Here are a few books I’ve read recently, am working on now, or plan to pick up this next year:
The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction — James Alexander Thom
Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults — Cheryl Klein
Writing the Breakout Novel — Donald Mass
Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them — Francine Prose
Writing Irresistible Kidlit — Mary Kole
Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to Publication — Ann Whitford Paul
Take time away from writing
Make sure you are doing things outside of writing. Now that I write full-time, it’s very easy to stay detached from the rest of the world. Make an effort to engage your surroundings, whether that means tuning in to nature as you walk the dog or making a point to get involved in a new activity.
How do you nurture your writing life?
Faith E. Hough says
Great advice! At this point I don’t know that there IS much that is new and earth-shattering…but we need to be reminded of the old stuff so often!
Caroline Starr Rose says
Augusta Scattergood says
I’m off to find my copy of Thom’s book. Which I’d forgotten about and haven’t truly looked at carefully.
So many things to learn, but we do need to remind ourselves to take time to think and read and ponder. (My word for the year might just be Ponder, a la Irene Latham’s blog today! )
I am so quoting you on this entry, Caroline.
Anna Staniszewski says
Oh, I hadn’t heard of Thom’s book. Thanks for the rec!
Caroline Starr Rose says
Thom’s book is wonderful. I’ve yet to read any of his fiction, but I recently found a copy of one of his book on one of those leave a book take a book bookshelves and made sure to bring it home with me.
One of the many things he says that I’ve made sure to hold onto with my current manuscript it our obligation to tell the truth, even when it’s ugly.
Jessie Oliveros says
Great posts on writing. I need to check out some craft books. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Donald Maas. As for the taking time away piece of advice, my children make sure I follow this one religiously. 🙂