Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My reading list lately...

In my last post I gave you some idea of the types of books I like to read.  Although reading is a favorite pastime of mine, I will admit it’s been very difficult to make my way to the end of any fictional story lately.  Since I had been so busy writing my book, I haven’t had much time to actually read a book.

Well, I’ll take that back.
I haven’t had the time to read fiction but I have made the time to read books on writing.  Since I’ll admit I was new to the whole idea of writing a book, I wanted to research the techniques involved with completing a book and what it took to become a published writer. 

Research…it can help you, but it can also hinder you.
Here’s what I’m talking about:

I already loved to write and had many story ideas but when I finally decided to write my book, I wasn’t willing to take on such a huge task without first researching the idea.  I’m pretty sure my very first purchase was The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing and also The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Published.
Can’t say I quite like the term “idiot” but there you go.  These books are easy to read and really do have a lot of good information about the whole process.

Then I moved on…
I began to read books about the writing process, writing exercises, how to write, how to find time to write, styles of writing, how to deal with writer’s block, how to build a platform, how to be a productive writer…and the list goes on and on.

Here’s a look at some of the books I read:

Sure, I love to read and yes, I won’t hesitate to research any topic as serious as this but after a bit I realized I would just have to set the books aside and get to what was really important…I just needed to write!  A quote from Agatha Christie says it all: 

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” 
All the advice in the world was not really going to change the way I write.  How or what I write was only part of the issue; the other was whether what I write would later be something you would be able to read in print.  The books about publishing were eye-opening, I’ll admit.  It is a daunting task but it is all part of the process when it comes to the commercial side of things.  From writing query letters, to finding an agent who will read your book to finding a publisher who will print your book, it’s a stressful waiting game, no question.    However, whether a publisher wishes to print my books or I have to publish them myself, it doesn’t really matter.  That is the remarkable part about this process, especially these days; you are essentially in control because you can make it happen on your own if that’s what it takes to start.

I believe my favorite book out of the whole group was On Writing by Stephen King.  Yes, I am a fan, and yes, after reading his book it made me question my sanity at even thinking I could be a published author.  However, reading his book also made me appreciate the fact that all the big-time authors were once nobody’s too. 
Every author started from scratch, no better than anyone else. 

It is also good to remember that hardly anyone can get where they want to go without first putting in a lot of hard work.  The end result is due to the sweat, blood and tears you give it, not because someone decided to give you a break the first time you thought you were good enough to make it.  (You will have to remind me of this a year from now if I begin to complain about the process!)
Actually, many well-known authors were struck down multiple times (Stephen King included) before that first real book deal came through.  I’m not saying I’ll get to the “well-known” level but I’ll certainly work hard at it.  Whether it’s due to a publisher willing to take a chance on me or because I take a chance on myself, I believe my hard work will eventually pay off. 

As Stephen King once said, “Talent is cheaper than table salt.  What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”

1 comment:

  1. I loved "On Writing" by Stephen King. Such a great story on believing in yourself and never giving up on dreams.