I’m still trying, and failing, to
adapt to this new climate. Still trying to acclimate to eighty degree
temperatures in January. Southern California is so unlike Long Island where I
made my home for sixty-seven years. But since I tend to be an optimist I see
the value of being able to take a pleasant morning walk in the middle of “winter.” This
early in the morning the air is cool on my skin and the sunshine is bright and
joyful. I’ve become more committed to my daily walks since I got a Fit Bit that
tracks my every step and buzzes my wrist when I don’t hit my goals. But what
has made my morning walks more enticing and enjoyable is my new interest in
audio books. In the past I would walk silently and though I enjoyed the rustle
of dry leaves and the songs of finches somehow those walks seemed boring. I
would set out to resolve some life issue, or plot issue, and end up thinking
mundane thoughts. Now, instead, I listen to inspirational books and poetry read
by David Whyte or Mark Nepo. …
Not all readers desire to write, but all writers must read. Books in their genre, as well as fiction in other genres, creative nonfiction and poetry. Reading in the genre you write in is of course primary as that is how we learn what works and what doesn't work, where the trends are and which trends are being abandoned for something newer, more exciting, perhaps darker and more mysterious.
Reading in our chosen genre, which for me is romantic women's fiction and romantic suspense, helps to integrate the narrative and plot structures expected in these novels. It exposes us to new writers that we can connect with on social media and hopefully run into at writers' conferences and book signing events.
Reading outside of our genres helps enhance our skills in using language in creative and engaging ways. Poetry opens us to imaginative language as well as specificity and concision.
Presently I am reading and re-reading the Ten Poems series by Roger Housden. The poems inform my writ…
Like the lamb brought to slaughter there are many sacrifices a writer must make in the name of his passion. Many books on writing as well as those on success discuss this little issue that we either don't acknowledge, or take for granted.
Several years ago I spent my long commute too and from work listening to the audio book "The Success Principles" by Jack Canfield. There is a world of experience, knowledge and advice in this book as well as in Canfield's online and in-person courses but this one point regarding sacrifice stood out to me then. It comes back to haunt me now, in even bigger ways.
To paraphrase, Canfield says that if you want to succeed at something you must be willing to give up all the other things in your life that interfere with achieving that success. At the time I used work as an excuse for everything. And as I drove along the Northern State Parkway, part of that long serpentine, barely moving, snake of cars, I thought about how many pages of a nov…