Tuesday, February 1, 2011

If you read too much about writing, you write too much about reading.....or something like that....

I recently bought several self-help books about writing.  While I was in the third chapter of the first book, a sentence caught my attention..."If you read too many books about writing, you will spend more time reading than writing."  Hmm..... this is a book about writing - she's the author - doesn't she want me to read it?  Not a good way to sell books, do you think?

Of course, that was shortly after she told me to read one hundred books in the same genre that I want to write - books similar to the one I'm writing.  My first thought was, this is going to be fun....and then she said, "don't think this is going to be fun. Instead of reading for pleasure, you will need to read to analyze the writing style, character development, relationships, pausing points, etc."  Whoa!  You mean I can't read for pleasure?  OK, I think - if I can't read for pleasure, I'll just re-read some of my old favorites and analyze them.  (sigh)  The next sentence in the book reads, "If you are thinking about reading over some of the books you've read before, don't. You will need to start with fresh material."

Wait up!  This is getting eerie. Is this book getting into my head....is it reading my mind?  Has the author cast some mystical spell on the book that as soon as you open it, it starts siphoning all of your book ideas right out of your brain so the author can write all those prize-winning books you were going to write and claim them as her own?  ......Nah --- that's science fiction ---- I don't do science fiction. 

But seriously...."don't read too many books about writing; don't read for pleasure; analyze every book you read?" ................  Does anyone want to buy a slightly used book on writing - excellent condition - no dog ears after 3rd chapter?   Half price - $9.99.

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