I had a conversation with a friend who I hadn’t seen for awhile yesterday, asked him how his writing was going and he told me he was reading some books on writing.
Not writing, not yet anyway, but reading about it.
And admittedly, he does need some help with some writing stuff. I’ve always made myself available to give him pointers, which he usually takes on board well. He has some really great ideas, it’s just the execution of them that needs some work and I have total faith that if he works hard at it he’ll end up with some really solid work.
I just hope that he doesn’t spend all of his time reading about how to write and not actually writing, because I think that no matter how much ‘study’ or ‘research’ into writing you do, you can’t actually make progress until you yourself are putting words down on the page. Putting the things you’ve learned into practice, finding out what does and doesn’t work for yourself.
It made me think about the books I’ve been reading lately – Kerryn left all her books about writing with me while she heads out overseas and I’ve read a couple so far, though, I’m pacing myself and not reading any more until I get back to work on Lifelines (am focusing on the editing/rewriting books in the collection first as that’s where I think I need the help).
Prior to this, I’d read…. maybe three books on writing? Steven King’s ‘On Writing’ just because I do enjoy some King, and, one or two others which didn’t really excite me a whole lot. I think I write fairly well, though of course there are things which can be improved. There is always room for improvement. But I think I’d much rather be writing than reading about it, and I really enjoy learning through experience.
I’m a little bit like that. You can tell me how to do something, but until I actually put that knowledge to use I’m not going to really connect with it, that became very apparent to me when I was in design school – I’d find myself running my hands over my keyboard, mimicking the strokes that the teacher was making on the screen so that I’d remember how to do different things.
Anyways… what books about writing have you read and found really helpful? Are they helpful just from reading them, or is it not til you start applying the principles in those books that things really click into place?
Novel Update: I did over 1k last night, and really really wanted to keep writing, but it was just after 10pm, Lauren was stirring and I knew I should be sleeping. So, back into it today. I’m hoping that I can pull this section off, and hopefully make some firm decisions on a couple of things that are coming up in the novel – I really need to so that I can keep pushing forward at a good rate. Confident I can though! Looking forward to it 🙂