Thursday, June 12, 2008

Reading About Writing

Work on my studio continues. I can feel it becoming more inviting, more of a writing and crafting and art space all the time. Of course, over the past few days I’ve only moved a couple of bits of furniture (and I’m still not happy with my printer placement, darn it!) and picked out a rug (which is currently in stock in Seattle but not Portland, so there may be a road trip in my near future). And perused bookcase designs to show my beloved so he can decide what to build for me! But I can still feel it growing into my space, my very own place for writing and creating and being. I love that room! The one that already exists and the one that is building itself in my mind…

I wasn’t actually going to write about the studio today, but I’m rather giddy over it. After living in that house for four years, it is exciting to finally be able to start getting things the way we want them.

I was actually going to write a bit about writing books today. I am currently browsing through several and actually reading Donald MaassWriting the Breakout Novel. And yesterday my new issue of Writers’ Digest arrived, and it’s now sitting on the coffee table waiting for me to delve into it.

Do I need to read more writing books, learn more craft, get more knowledge? Well, we can always learn more, there’s always something new, a different take on things, so reading more books certainly won’t hurt me. I usually find that I pick up at least one or two good ideas for new ways to do things when I read craft books and articles and blogs, so it’s definitely not a waste of time on that front. But I don’t actually need them particularly—I’m pretty sure I have enough knowledge and imagination in me to do the job sufficiently well.

What I get out of reading these books is more of a connection to my craft. When I read writing books, my focus stays on writing. My attention stays on crafting stories, plotting, outlining, creating characters. And when I read writing books, I feel a sort of connection to other writers. I can read a paragraph and say, “Yeah, me too! That’s what I do!” I feel like I’m one of the gang, like there are people out there rooting for me. And possibly the best part—when I read books on writing, my motivation rises. Story ideas well up, insisting on being acknowledged and recorded. I find myself excited and immersed in story and ready to pick up my pen. It’s really not a bad payoff for a few minutes of my time and a few pages of text.

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