Sunday, January 16, 2011
Reading: A Writer's Chore.
I try spend some time writing each morning, work on crafts in the afternoon, and then try to read in the evening. Keeping busy is easy if you have plenty of things to do and anyone with a house knows there is always things to do.
Sure, I run the vacuum and do the dishes and laundry, but no day is complete without spending some time with a good book. It is part of my real work.
Last autumn I had the opportunity to do several book signings and to my surprise people bought just as many of my older books as they did the newer volumes. Most of my books are historical fiction, with a few exceptions. My degree in American studies helped me with some of the material culture in more than a few of my novels. In other cases, reading has helped me with the details of cultures I would never be able to have otherwise - and the Internet makes research easy.
Some of my stories, however, have a more modern focus. The Picker, for instance, is the story of a man whose calling did not always make for a happy life. He is a country musician. It isn't easy to chase one's dream, but the dream will call you on for good or ill. The Picker leans more heavily on my personal experience as a working musician. Still, reading all sorts of books helped me with the voice of this quasi-memoir and picking it up recently told me I was always a storyteller - again, for good or ill.
I think a writer has to be a reader for that is where they find the recipes for their tales - it is part of the writer's must dos.
Today's writer has a tough time getting noticed in the vast sea of writers also looking to make their mark on the world. Today one of my books was rejected - and hey I simply applied for a review! It is not a vocation for the weak or faint of heart.
You know what? I believe I am past the point of no return and I am going to continue to find stories to write and take the time to make them as good as I can. And I'll keep reading - it is part of the writer's work.
Good luck on your own journey and keep on the sunny side. Love, Terry