“Tell me, what is it you plan to do; With your one wild and precious life?” — Mary Oliver, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
Sage Cohen writes this fun read called “The Productive Writer” where she encourages and challenges a writer to do more with their writing. I have done a lot of reading about “writing” over the past several months, attended a writing workshop, in the middle of a writing class, talked with others about the craft of writing, and I have come to the conclusion that writing is hard work! No getting around it!!!!
I have also done a lot of reading of authors being interviewed about their writing and how they got started. There are a couple of things that have surprised me: (1) They all have self doubt about their work. Who would have thought that Stephen King, John Grisham, Jeff Goins, and many others would doubt their ability to write a book. But they do! (2) All writers write a lousy first draft, then go on to revise/edit over and over and over. I read that one author revised his book five times before he sent it to his agent; then had to rewrite the story again. (3) Who would guess that every writer has a hard time sitting down and writing. I always thought that writers could not wait to get to their writing desks. Wrong!! Many of them struggle with the blank page; many of them struggle with how they are going to write something that inspires and entertains others. (4) Who knew there are thousands of books that have been written but never published. They are sitting somewhere in a bottom desk draw, because the author felt it was not good enough!! (5) Who knew that it may take four or five published books before an author is known to the public and has a following.
So what is it I plan to do with my one wild and precious life? Continue on the path of writing. I may never get published (less than 1% of books ever get published); my only “claim to fame” is this blog — but giving up is not in the plan. Who knows — maybe some day I will Gramma Mosses of the writing world!
When you pick that next book up, remember that the author struggled to get it on paper and out to you the reader. It also would not hurt, if the author is still alive, to drop him/her an email and say “Thanks, I really enjoyed you book ….” Now while we are on the subject of books … let’s look at Week # 10 of the 2015 Reading Challenge.
Week # 10: Read a Mystery or Thriller: Groundwork by Paul McDonagh or Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. (Dan Brown wrote The DeVinci Code before Angels and Demons. I read The DeVinci Code twice — once on my own and once in a Book Club. I enjoyed The DeVinci Code, but I was pleasantly surprised at Angels and Demons. It’s not unusual for me to know the “who done it” within one half to three-quarters of the book. The DeVinci Code I nailed it. Angels and Demons I did not!! In fact, I was close to the end of the book before I got a glimmer of “who done it and why.” No, I am not going to give you the end. That you have to read for yourself. When I find Angels and Demons in my packed boxes — yes, I still have packed boxes — I will give it a second read.
The other two books I thought of are The Firm by John Grisham and Along Came A Spider by James Patterson. Do you have a great mystery or thriller that you would like to share? Go to Comments and tell me about it. I love hearing what others are reading.
Action for this week: (1) thank an author and (2) sit down with a great book.
Today do something that challenges you, Linda