You ever need one of those days when you just don’t do anything?
Today is that day. Heck, it’s a Sunday, why not? A nothing day is a really good chance to bust out the books.
I managed to read two books this week, both fantasy and both sent in from authors who requested a review. The first one was pretty great (Calico Thunder Rides Again – check out the review here) but the second one falls into a trap that plenty of indie fantasy books tend to. Great story idea but execution could use some work.
I’m an author too and I’ve been writing daily for 16 years but I’m under no illusion that my writing needs work. It will always need work. I could live to be 200 and still need to make improvements. (Where’s a vampire when you need one?)
That’s why reading is so important for writers. Books aren’t just entertaining, they open us up to techniques we didn’t know about and plot structures we weren’t sure would work. I’ll never stop reading not just because I love it, but because my writing needs it.
Buying all the stationary, all the notebooks and all the laptops (maybe overkill, just a little) is a great start. In fact, it’s the most satisfying part of the whole writing process until you finish the darned book. But the really valuable stuff is the writing guides and thanks to the indie publishing world exploding the way it did, writers have so many resources now.
Here are the best books I’ve ever read about the writing craft and the awkward marketing part afterwards:
- Sell Your Book Like Wildfire
- How to Craft a Great Story
- The Emotion Thesaurus
- Stephen King’s On Writing
It’s safe to say I’m not yet selling my books like wildfire and maybe not even crafting a great story (who knows?) but it’s all part of the journey. I don’t think anyone starts out writing a great book even if they’ve studied the subject all their lives. But nobody’s going to write a great book if they write without thinking about improvement, either.
Maybe I’m just a bit optimistic but here’s what I think. With a calculated combination of learning and doing, we authors really can get somewhere in our writing careers. Especially if that journey involves lots and lots and lots of reading!
Thanks for reading!