Skip to main content

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)."


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!



  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.

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


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Characters That Work

I’ve heard countless times that agents, when looking for the next great manuscript and readers, looking for the next great read, want compelling characters. But, what does this mean? Compelling? And why have I never thought of characters as compelling when I can’t put the book down? Sure, these characters are amazing, and sometimes I want to be in the middle of the stories as if they were my own experiences. But why? Compelling characters make me --force me-- to be in love with them as they find their way through trials or charge fearlessly down hidden hallways and dark forests. This makes for wonderful literature, and for fascinated readers. But how do we do this? How do authors create compelling characters -- ones that not only we want to read but others too -- and convince our readers that they should care about them? Here’s a tiny list by which I try to strive: Make them human: This is a given. And most writers would tell you this is. Give your character flaws that lots o

Music and Me

So, this post is about music. Why? Because author extraordinaire Alex J. Cavanaugh  is doing a music blogfest. For those who chose to sign up and write about this subject, like me, we get the opportunity to muse about the top ten songs that have inspired us the most over our life. This is a rather subjective and varied blog idea, because sometimes the strangest music can inspire us, or move us, or allow us to remember a time or place or moment or person ... for the rest of our lives! And that is also why it is such a grand idea to make a list of the most inspirational songs: to remember, to pontificate, and think about such like: Wow, that song was awful, but I sure loved it! Warning: This list is going to be majorly filled with eighties music. Why? Again, for the reasons listed above. I was age "ten and up" in the mid-eighties. Talk about an inspirational and impressionable time of anyone's life! Because of that, I feel the eighties were good to me. And I don&

Write This Down

I had a great conversation with a writer-friend of mine this week. She and I have been in a similar predicament for the past few years, in that most of our energy and time has gone into raising our children, and not into the world we so longingly want to delve into: writing. Our kids, of course, and the time we give them is valuable time dedicated. We understand that. We chose to forego our passion of writing for them instead. But, we also discussed why some writers -- as busy as us --were still able to write while raising a family. Did they have extra help? Was their writing so miraculous that their brains just downloaded the stuff onto their computer in mere minutes? What did they do differently? Obviously, many women and men raise their children and manage to write; perhaps even write bestsellers (ahem ... Mrs. Meyers). So what’s the difference between them and us? What was it that made them more productive? It comes down to something very simple: these authors wanted to write