Writers, and reading

To reach full potential, writers need to take reading seriously. This idea isn’t original with me. I am hearing the same thought from many different sources.

I seem to be fixated on promoting reading for writers and I think it is because the group of writers I hang out with show embers of interest about writing but only one or two give off  bright flames of  excitement or of strong motivation. We (as the steering committee) want to find a way to fan the embers and see them burst into flame.

We’ve brainstormed and come up with a few ideas we’d like to try.  Here’s one, sparked by the description of a book read this week by a member of our planning group. It was a book that drew her in to the story and made her forget about the mechanics of writing, even though that is usually the first thing she notices. We are going to encourage each member of the group to make a special effort this month to find a book like this for themselves.

Challenge – go to the library and sample as many books as you need to to find one that totally captures your interest. Before check out, read a bit to see if they seem like good possibilities and add only the good possibilities to the pile you are going  to take home. Make that a big pile. At home – if a book doesn’t totally capture your interest within a short time, move on to the next one. Keep doing this until you find one you can’t put down. If nothing in this pile does this for you, go back to the library for a new supply. Keep doing this until you find the book. This may sound too simple to be bothered with but trust me, it’s not always that easy to find a book like this. It is possible though, There are some amazing ones out there and we want to help you find them.

Now that you’ve found this captivating book. Stop and examine the way it feels, then consciously commit it to memory, as a measure for all of the books you will be reading soon.  If you already know this feeling, you are ahead of the game, and the search for qualifying books will go faster.

If you are serious about writing, you need to be serious about reading, and if you are serious about reading , you need to be serious about what you read.

Reading time is precious, you can’t afford to spend it reading books that don’t measure up to the new standard. I mean, you could, but not if you seriously want to write. I find myself following this rule more and more, now that life holds more for me than just reading, as a pain killer.

Reading only those books meeting the new standard will reset the internal measure for your own writing. As you write, and read aloud what you have written, you will view it all with new eyes and there will be a noticeable difference in your work.

You will be influenced and inspired in a new way. And hopefully the flame of your interest and passion will be burning brightly.


Some books for you

The Nick Kismet AdventuresThe Nick Kismet Adventures Volume 1 – Sean Ellis… I’ve read the first book, the Shroud of Heaven, it is a middle eastern adventure involving historical artifacts and struggles for possession. It was a good story but it was like an action movie, full of car chases and gun fights. I was telling my grandsons about the book, that there were too many chases for my liking. My son-in-law thought it sounded like a pretty good book. This is one for the guys!

 

The Inn at Ocean's Edge  A Sunset Cove Novel – The Inn at Ocean’s Edge book 1 – Colleen Coble …. When Claire makes a visit to the luxury hotel in a beautiful resort town, repressed memories begin to surface. Claire disappeared from her 4th birthday party at the hotel, reappearing at the same hotel a year later, and no one knew where she had been. She didn’t even know she had been missing and her parents seem to be discouraging her from remembering. Her friend Luke’s mother also disappeared that weekend. There must be a connection somehow.

Mermaid Moon  A Sunset Cove Novel – Mermaid Moon book 2 – Colleen Coble …. Mallory hasn’t been back to her hometown in fifteen years but when her dad dies on his mail route she has to go back. Kevin, the local game warden, is warily helping her solve her dad’s murder, Mallory broke his heart the day she left.

Twilight at Blueberry Barrens  A Sunset Cove Novel – Twilight at Blueberry Barrens book 3 – Colleen Coble …. Kate has shouldered the responsibility of her families blueberry farm but when the crop fails she has to look for a new way to make ends meet. Renting out their cabin when Drake and his nieces show up looking for a place seems like a solution to her dilemma. It’s even better when he needs a nanny for the girls while he spends time looking for his brother’s killer. Life would be good for Kate except someone seems to be stalking her.

Winter's Secret  Northern Intrigue – Winter’s Secret book 1 – Lyn Cote …. Someone is vandalizing during a record winter, targeting empty homes of senior citizens. Wendy, their public health nurse, is always the one to discover the break ins and seems to be the common thread between all of them. Rod is the new sheriff in town and the opposition to his appointment is not helping his investigation. It seems this town has secrets.

Seek Me with All Your Heart  A Land of Canaan Novel – Seek Me with All Your Heart book 1 – Beth Wiseman …. Why would the Amish move to Colorado leaving their friends and family behind. For Emily and her family the reason is personal. They are trying to start over after her devastating attack. David’s family has moved for reasons he doesn’t understand and he wants to find a way to go back to the home he loved. An attraction blooms between Emily and David but they each have a secret that makes a future seem impossible for them.

Finding Love at the Oregon Coast  Finding Love At the Oregon Coast – a romantic novella collection – Angela Ruth Strong, Christina Coreyell, Heather Woodhaven, Lisa Phillips ….. when a wedding is cancelled, three bridesmaids and a runaway bride contemplate the true meaning of love in four related novels.

Untangled Michele PillarUntangled: The Truth will set you free – Michele Pillar …. The personal story of a successful singing career derailed by tragedy and bad choices, and how facing the truth of her life and choices, gave her a second chance at a career and more. Truth brought freedom to the tangled mess that was her life.

 

 

Reading, and Writing

One of the discussions happening yesterday was centered around the question; what place does reading hold in the life of a successful writer? My comment was – I agree with previous comments, reading is essential to good writing. Today I feel compelled to go back and expand on that thought, but the moment has passed.

I am bursting to share more about this discussion because I don’t just agree with reading being essential, I am on a crusade to convince writers of the need to read more. Just ask the other members of our local writing group. In the last few months they have been subjected to my passionate rants. I am grateful they are open to this vision of mine. Together we are working hard to promote reading in our group, and hope to encourage our members to spend more time with some of the excellent books in our writing library.

I would also like to see them reading more than just the how to books in our library. I think good books are the cooking shows of the writer’s world. Good cooks become better cooks by watching successful chefs do their thing.  I think we can become better writers by watching successful authors do their thing. It’s difficult to convey in words, what it takes to write in a compelling manner, a demonstration works much easier. That’s why I would like to see us all develop a passion for  good books. It will open up a whole new realm of possibilities.

While many writers are avid readers, many more are not. The second group is the one I hope to inspire. In my opinion; people don’t enjoy reading because they haven’t  discovered the gold mine in an interesting book. If they do discover the treasure, it will be a life changing event. They will catch the bug. The reading love bug

There is an enemy of reading: reading out of obligation. Many of us have the idea that if we start a book we must finish it, even if it’s pure drudgery. I used to feel that way but not anymore. Now I follow my recommendation to all of you. Abandon the drudgery and move on. The freedom of this practice is awesome.

How do we promote a good reading experience: learn where to look. Once you know where to look there will always be good choices.

For me; education started in the public library. It is a free and safe way to discover what you like and what you don’t. Once you have a good understanding of what you like, you will be ready to move on and make the most of the many ebook opportunities out there

BookBub, and other e-book sites are an excellent source of good books. They offer up suggestions in whatever genre you pick, many of them free. The thing I love about free books – they feed my reading addiction without breaking the bank. I’ve met some amazing authors this way.

Writing has never been one of my passions. I had no particular interest in the required  English courses of my school years, if I passed, I was happy. Reading is responsible for whatever writing skills I may have now. Reading works.

In the end it’s a circle. I promote avid reading so you will write even better. If you write better, I will have even better books to read. It’s a win/win situation.

There is a good chance that I am preaching to the choir here. The fact your are reading this probably means you are a reader too.

Maybe you will be inspired to inspire. That works for me.

If nothing else, I feel better for the chance to vent.


a few books:

Heart of Glass  Irish Angel Series – Heart of Glass book 3, Jill Marie Landis ….  Kate Keene returns to the place of happy childhood memories, determined to  honour her friends and restore their plantation to it’s former glory after the ravages of war. She was not expecting to arrive and find someone living in the deserted buildings, least of all, a broken, bitter man. The changed man was her best friends brother and the love of her young teen heart. He demands she leave and orders her off the property, but he is in no shape to get up and make her go. She is determined to stay; to repay the kindness of his family for taking her in all those years ago, so there is a reprieve. If she can find a way to escape his notice.

 

Black Diamond Death A Sloane Monroe Mystery – Black Diamond Death book 1, Cheryl Bradshaw ……  Charlotte is upset about something and wants to talk it over with her sister but before they can meet for  lunch, Charlotte dies on the ski hill. Although the authorities rule her death accidental, her sister  knows there is something wrong with this conclusion. It doesn’t make sense for a skier of her caliber to die on such an easy slope.   Somehow, Audrey has to convince someone to help her find the truth.

 

A Christmas Surprise Love in the Cascades series – A Christmas Surprise book1, Kimberly Rose Johnson ….. After reluctantly agreeing to a blind date, Keira thinks he’s changed his mind when he doesn’t show. Pete, called away for an emergency before they can meet, is relieved in a way, to have it work out like this. Earlier, when he stopped to pick up a gift for his date, the owner of the chocolate shop caught his interest, making him wish  she was the one he was meeting for dinner.

Happy Reading!