The love of language, words, and stories are intertwined for me. I cannot pinpoint when I grew to understand that crafting beautiful sentences and sharing them with the world was a powerful gift, but looking back, I can see that my inner life has always been centered around text – reading and writing it.
Reading is an escape for me, and at the same time, it is part of my study of a craft made up of letters, words, sentences, and punctuation. Some books are mesmerizing in their singular means of expression – take The Orchid Thief, or A Fine Balance, or A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. All distinct styles and all moving in their own particular ways.
As a working writer for many years, I wrote each and every day, all day long. I read other people’s writing and edited it, critiquing their style, tweaking their grammar and correcting their spelling. Over time, their work influenced my own. When I draft something of which I am particularly proud, I can see in the piece a mixture of the finest aspects of all these craftspeople.
I started blogging a little over a year ago with no expectations. I was bored and sad and I needed a place to spew my thoughts in an anonymous forum. I never anticipated the way it would change my writing life.
After a long hiatus, I am now writing every day, working at a lifelong process of refinement. One of my all-time favorite authors, Stephen King, advises all writers to approach the craft as a job, even if nary a word is published. Spend time each day working on your skills. Flex the muscles. Make them stronger and perhaps, with a little luck, you will strike gold.
After my dad died I had a hard time reading, and my writing suffered for it. I was no longer immersed in a world of words. But these days I’ll even trade a precious hour of sleep to spend more time with a good novel or memoir. However, I feel like I am running out of good books.
So I’m asking for your help. Leave a comment, here at GNMParents or at my “home” blog, and recommend a great book you love (new or classic). I will choose one commenter at random to recieve a copy of “No One Cares What You Had For Lunch: 100 Ideas For Your Blog.”
If you want to be a writer, you have to write, after all.
[tags]writing, reading, blogging, influences[/tags]
Photo graciously provided by olivander, under a Creative Commons license