June 3, 2012

Reading to Write Plus ROW80 Update

Another great prompt by the Author Blog Challenge, so I had to answer it.

How do the things you read impact your writing? What do you love to read? What do you avoid reading at all costs? How would your writing change if you read more of the things you typically avoid?

Like I don't remember life before my little sister (I am three years older), I do not remember life before I loved books. It is so much a part of who I am. With every book, I find elements I want to incorporate into my writing and elements I don't.

What I love most about books... rarely do people agree. For the last ten years, I have been an active member of a book club. Not only has this helped me appreciate books even more, it's helped me with rejection and critiques. Rarely has a book brought all the members together in either unanimous like or dislike. Readers are individuals, and trying to write a book to make them all happy will make a writer crazy.

One of my favorite quotes:

I don't know the key to success,
but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
Bill Cosby

Now that I review books and read book club selections, I can honestly say there is not a type of book I avoid. I thought I hated science fiction. Then I read Margaret Atwood. I thought I hated horror. Then I read Carrie Green (go indie authors!) and Stephen King. I swore off non-fiction, and then I read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

The only thing I still shy away from is erotica. But the day the ladies in my book club put aside convention and throw one on the calendar is the day I say, "Game on!" As long as we have wine and open discussion, there's nothing I won't read. And I pride myself on finding redeeming value in every book. Even the ones I don't like.

What do you avoid reading?


My A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) Update

Writing: This round of words (since Wednesday) has been a bust. My reasons would only bore you, not matter how legit. Excuses seem to be beating my muse in the writing version of arm wrestling.

Blogging: Daily, now thanks to the Author Blog Challenge. This is it for daily challenges. My brain is becoming mush. My Mom in Love with Fiction blog suffered last week. Not one post.

No reason to prolong the obvious trend here. Reading, some. Social Media, some. Editing, some. Nothing to brag about.

I will only say this in the way of defending myself. These last two weeks of school are crazy. All the sports wrap up, summer swim starts, girls have ending projects and exams, and so on. In trying to explain my overloaded brain to my husband, the following dialogue transpired:

Me: "I think I need to throw up." (I didn't lead into this, just announced it.)

Hubby: "Did you eat something bad?"

Me: "No, my stomach is fine. I just thought if I threw up, all the stuff floating around in my head would purge. After all, my brain is closer to my mouth than my stomach is."

My husband loves these conversations. (Did I mention he grew up in a house full of boys, and now lives in a house with a wife, three daughters, and a female dog?)

I'm so far behind in all the things I want to do, I don't know how to proceed.

What do you do when you are so far behind catching up or moving forward seems impossible?


Elizabeth Anne Mitchell said...

Oh man, Tia. I hear you, and I have many fewer excuses than you to feel overwhelmed!
What do I do? I write it all down in all its colors (green for important, red for urgent) to purge the brain. Then I pick three small things to do the first day and cross them off with joy and vigor. It's all in finding what baby steps work for you--and I'd appreciate any hints anyone else has!

Jaleh D said...

I don't read horror; my imagination is too good sometimes, and I don't enjoy being scared for the sake of being scared. Plenty of stuff in the real world to scare me that I don't need it in my reading. Horrific things may happen in what I do read, but the stories themselves aren't horror. Don't read much erotica either because I don't care for hot and steamy, they're too cheesy character-wise to me, and they also make me feel inadequate. Who needs that?

But I have been trying to branch out of my spec fic concentration by reading more mystery and non-fiction.

Do what you can with the writing. I understand how hectic this time of year can be. I've only got one kid and he's not doing all the sports and activities, but we're getting ready to move since my husband got a new job in another state (where we wanted to move back to). So packing and cleaning has been a big thing around here lately. Hang in there. :D And your conversation with your husband was too funny. LOL!

Julie Glover said...

Being here in Texas, all I can say is BLESS YOUR HEART!

I'm the opposite of your hubby. I grew up with all sisters, and now I have hubby, two boys, and a male cat. They think I'm really emotional and talkative, even when I think I'm rather tame. ;)

Tia Bach said...

The last two weeks of school left me with an email inbox that was filled and attacking me with each login. Sorry for the delay in responding to your lovely comments.

Elizabeth, I love the small things idea. I need to work on that. I tackle too much too often.

Jaleh, Most of my conversations with hubby are print worthy! ;-)

Julie, A woman after my own heart. A "bless your heart" was exactly what I needed!