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?
[tweetmeme source=”cassidylewis” only_single=false]