Oh the glorious nature of a blank page!
I long for the days when I created from scratch. Right now, I am rewriting. This may go on for some time. Last year I rewrote a novel I have now sent off for an opinion. I rewrote it maybe 6 or 7 times last year. This year I have another book that will receive that treatment and to do that I must read it first. So today I sit here reading my book, dreaming of getting back to work on it. (While also dreaming of reading the latest by Tasha Alexander—She has a fantastic first sentence btw).
Reading is writing.
Every time you read your own work you are moving your talent forward. Every time you read someone else’s work you are learning.
I have a novel, YA historical fiction, that I am desperate to get back to writing. 197 pages of a first draft of a novel.
My tasks for January:
- Read the YA Historical
- rewrite the picture book
- read the memoir
I had a hard time this week acknowledging that reading is writing. I can’t move forward on any of those three without reading them. Simply the act of reading is adding to my writing. When everyone is posting word counts remember that reading your work counts too. It is not just the creation that is important. We must also be readable and we must also edit. But above all…
Writers must read.
It is a necessity that we read all the time. If you hate a book or it doesn’t grab your attention figure out why. If you love it and it grabs your attention, figure out why.
You are writing for yourself.
Yes, there is a reader out there and you need to have an idea who that is. BUT if you don’t enjoy reading your book you will not want to work on it.
- Myself at 10
- Myself at 14
- Myself as an adult
- Myself as a parent of a 4 year old
- Myself as a 4 year old
Middle grade fiction —this is the first time a kid picks out a book for themselves. If you are writing it, make sure you are reading it.
YA LIt—more sophisticated stories but also decide which part of this you are writing for. My historical is aimed at precocious mg readers as well as ya readers. There is no sex, no language, some passion, romance and a bit of war related violence. Again read for your audience
Picture books—the younger side—read by an adult, cozy time, read aloud(please make sure it flows—doesn’t have to rhyme but should flow). As the kids get older stories grow but still get read aloud, usually to calm down at the end of the day, humor helps. Read your favorites and your kids, nieces and nephews, grandkids favorite books too.
Dad read a lot of fiction. Usually scifi or mystery, never westerns. He read classics as well as Gene Stratton Porter to us kids. Our breakfast table reading list was varied including fiction, sci if, Biography, non-fiction, etc.
As for my adult audience? I write for people like myself. Those who need encouragement, to right their mindset, or a vision of possibility. I hope you are finding that here, whether you are a writer, a reader or a human who is interested. Our minds are incredible. We must use them to their fullest potential.