I love to write, so people think it comes easily. It does, and it doesn't. When it doesn't, I rely on the experts. I need guidance and some instructions.
Writing is hard work, but I know why I do it.
Writing fills my heart. Writing allows me to make sense of the voices in my head, the poetry in my soul, the chatter all around me. Still, it is a craft, and it requires instruction. Lucky me, I have two amazing teachers.
Lamott and King. I obsessively absorbing their advice and analyze their style, word choice, structure and rhythm. I have read Stephen King’s “On Writing” and Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life” over and over. Each time, I find new ideas; each time, something I’ve read becomes clearer.
Writing brings me joy. It’s hard work, but I love it.
If you love to write, then write. Everyday. Every chance you get. But don’t just write, read your writing, study it; read other writing and study that. Buy a book on writing. I suggest buying a live book as opposed to a digital download or library rental because you will want to write in it.
Both my books by King and Lamott have notes in all the margins, words circled, lines underlined, pages starred and dog-eared. They are my instructors, and I heed their words like notes on a treasure map.
Writing is not a 9 to 5 job. It’s 24/7. Make the most of it.
Here are some more recommended readings on writing:
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
Page After Page by Heather Sellers
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
We're a full month into spring, and I can smell summer's surf and sun already. What's on your reading list!
As a writer of YA, and someone who is more A than Y, I try to keep up with popular reads. If I want to write what young people want to read, I need to read what they like. Since I must also balance my life, and since I have so many books I want to read (adult fiction, biographies, books on writing), I am quite choosy on my YA.
Fortunately, the other day, I happened upon a lively discussion of YA books to read with writers, editors and readers on #StoryDam (Tuesdays at 5PST) via @StoryDam. I now have a whole collection on my Goodreads YAtoRead list!
Today, I'm sharing FIVE with you:
1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein - a friendship forms amidst WWII (theme: friendship) Read if you liked "Flygirl" by Sherri Smith.
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - a foster girl steals to survive in WWII London (theme: responsibility, kindness) Read if you liked "The Diary of Anne Frank".
3. Mickey Harte Was Here by Barbara Park - a sister must deal with her brother's early death (theme: death, choices) Read if you liked "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Piccoult.
4. Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark - a boy feels more like a girl struggles to be himself - and tell his girlfriend (theme: sexual identity) Read if you liked "Forever" by Judy Blume or "Openly Straight" by Bill Knoigsburg.
5, Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard - Alex tries to deal with his best friend's drowning (themes: death, friendship, guilt) Read if you liked "A Separate Peace" by John Knowles.
Don't stop here...start reading! Share your reviews or other ideas for summer reads here or with me on Twitter.com/thisgirlclimbs.