There's a little voice in my head that never stops saying, "Must be better!" Is this a me-crazy thing, or is this something that everyone hears?
Francine Prose wrote the best book on writing that I've read, Reading Like A Writer, tying with my other favorite Stephen King's On Writing. When I started Reading Like A Writer, I actually teared up and all but started to cry. It reminded me how much I love the written word, and writing. It gave me permission to read slow, over and over, and unlock all the mysteries the book has.
I've heard so many people say that you need to read, read, read to be a writer. Lately, I've felt such a pressure to read an enormous quantity. "Know your genre," they say, and I walk through Borders, wondering how the hell I'm going to read all these books! And how much is enough?
Truth is, you can never read everything, even if you read two books a day.
So stopping to enjoy a chapter, and reading it several times, is new to me. And reading Francine Prose's "permission" to do so, just overwhelmed me and made me start to cry. For happiness, or relief, or something.
Reading Like A Writer is definitely a book to treasure as a tool to learn how to write better.
So I'm taking my time with Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys, because I have a lot to learn from him, I sense. I've also decided to start approaching my reading by deciding what I need to learn most, as a writer.
Maybe you know how much I love Emily Dickinson. I picked up a Rumi book, and realized (partly because there was a Dickinson poem in the foreward) how very similar the two poets are. Short, vivid, and poignantly insightful. They say a lot with so little.
Miss Snark suggests reading poetry before writing, every day. Interesting, and I like that suggestion. A very wise suggestion. I like to exercise that word muscle; it takes practice to find the right word when you need it! At least for me.
I've decided to start writing a little poetry, everyday. Nothing I'll share, but I think it will help me become a better writer.
Anyone do anything else, to become a better writer?