Saturday, April 15, 2017

Writing to Write Because You Write

There's a much-adhered bit of writing advice that most writers are told, whether it's from a teacher, mentor, critique partner or book.

It's this: To write well, you must read.

And it's true.

It's like studying art work if you paint or sculpt

Or watching dramas or theater if you're an actor.

You have to study the craft in which you create.

As Stephen King said in his perfect book On Writing, "If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that” (147)."

Yep.

Also, I think I need to add that one needs to write in order to be a great writer.

I know. How obvious, right?

But, it's not to some. I know "writers" who only write the book they are working on, but nothing else.

They don't write short stories, articles, poems, not even a blog. They don't do any writing other than the latest book they're working on. And edit it. Over and over. Day in and day out.

Where's the growth?

Honestly, I think it's absurd and pure garbage to think your writing will be stellar if you don't write in other genres or types. It's like only reading in one genre and expecting your writing to be superior, even though you write in that particular genre.

Contradiction, then? Well, in my opinion, it hinders writing growth.

Successful writing is an all or nothing approach. To understand romance writing, is to understand how the narrative moves. To understand mystery, is to understand foreshadowing. To understand children's fiction is to understand how to write as cleanly as you possibly can.

You need to read it all to write it all. And you need to write it all (even if you're no good at it) to truly write well.

Not writing in other forms is equivalent to wanting to interior decorate a 1960s mid-century modern home but only using modern items to do this. It doesn't work and clearly lacks authenticity.

You have to blend the old with the new. And in this case, using only vintage would be preferable (to me).

If you haven't read King's book and you write, for the love of all things literary, READ IT.

I think coffee should sort of be a part of the writing process, as well. It literally disappears as I write and I don't recall drinking any of it. But, by golly, it helps!

And here's a perfect mid-century modern moment with coffee in it.

Now...go read everything. And go write everything!

-HJS




3 comments:

  1. You know, I don't read King's fiction. I'm not much into horror or thrillers. But "On Writing" is absolutely brilliant. Writers should read it repeatedly.

    Coffee, on the other hand... Ugh. If it tasted half as good as it smelled, I'd be an addict.

    Back into the cave until Easter Sunday is over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're totally missing out on the best drink ever...

      Delete
  2. Maybe you should also check out this blog

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