Craft, Fiction, Goals, Motivation, Writing

Too much information!

I have read too many writing manuals. For now, my brain cannot process any more how-to advice. It’s likely a few skipped my mind when I compiled this list, but in full or in part, I have read these books in the last year:

  • On Writing by Stephen King
  • On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner
  • The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide by Becky Levine
  • The Writers Notebook: Craft Essays from Tin House
  • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  • Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon
  • Sin and Syntax by Constance Hale
  • Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
  • The Sell Your Novel Toolkit by Elizabeth Lyon
  • How to Grow A Novel by Sol Stein
  • Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz
  • Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
  • The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers by Betsy Lerner

Add to those myriad articles in writers magazines and online and I think you get the picture. The worse part is that I’m not sure, for all my reading, that I learned that much. That’s not to say these books aren’t good because they are. But since I had read many of these at least once before, more often than not, I found myself checking tips off as something I already know and incorporate in my writing. My brain feels saturated with know-how and I think what I need most now is to do.

I’ve been cheating myself by not stretching my writing boundaries. I write only what I want to write. I don’t write to prompts. I skip over writing exercises. I pass on writing classes. I ignore workshops. Until now. I’ve signed-up to participate in Merrilee Faber’s writing workshop.

Frankly, I dread it. Like I said, I’m spoiled. I expect that I will pout quite a bit during this experience. I will complain that I don’t have time; I have other writing to do; I’m not sure workshops should be given priority right now. But then, I’ll smack myself and do the work required because … the best way to learn to write is by writing.

Have you tried something new with your writing lately?

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28 thoughts on “Too much information!”

  1. You’ve certainly been busy with the reading! But I think this sentence you wrote is key: ‘I think what I need most now is to do.’ And, actually, the writing workshop you signed up for sounds pretty interesting.

    I know that sharing thoughts/ideas/writing on various blogs has been EXTREMELY valuable to me and I really appreciate all the thought and sharing that goes into everyone’s blogs and posts. Y’all are helping me stay in the game with this. Linda, you always are able to pull a lot of diverse viewpoints together and I appreciate it. Thanks!


    1. You’re welcome, Natasha. I was just sitting here this morning thinking that I had no idea what my next post would be. Then I started thinking of all the books I’ve read in my life and now I know my next blog topic. And since it’s “audience participation” there will be at least variety in the comments, if not “diverse viewpoints.” 🙂


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