Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Stop Reading and Get Writing

I'm a sucker for books. From a small child I would sit for hours reading, getting lost in my own little world of the author's making. It was fabulous - and it still is! But, now I'm a writer I find myself torn between reading the books I love and getting my own writing done.

I'm particularly into books about how to write at the moment - and although almost all of them say that the best way to learn to write is to try it yourself , I find myself reaching for my book case every time I hit a snag in my own writing, or it's time to sit down and write! I think it's an elaborate form of procrastination. And one I must get over.

But, before I ban myself from reading when I'm supposed to be writing, no matter how tough the going gets, I wanted to point you in the direction of a book on writing I found at my local library.

Robert's Rules of Writing: 101 Unconventional Lessons Every Writer Needs to Know.
Author: Robert Masello.
F&W Publications. Inc. 2005
ISBN 1-58297-326-1

It's an American book jam packed full of interesting anecdotes and advice for writers. Chapters include: Don't Overinflate the Balloon, Take the Prozac, Pick Your Poison, Overcome Your Separation Anxiety, Strip Down to Your Briefs, Buy the Smoking Jacket, Pass the Scalpel, Gather ye Moonbeams, and Stop Reading, you know you're in for an intriguing and informative read. It's certainly helped me!

So, take Robert's advice and stop reading  - not all together - I wouldn't be that cruel. Just stop reading things that are close to what you're writing while you're writing it, otherwise you might start to adopt the voice of the author you're reading and lose yours.Of course, reading other writers' stuff is essential for research purposes, but not so good if it prevents you from writing or puts you off your stride.  He advises to read something totally different: fiction if you're writing non-fiction and vice versa. And don't use reading as an excuse to stop you from writing: that's one form of procrastination you, and I, can do without!

This week I've been editing a book for younger readers that I'm writing and I'll continue with that over he coming week. I've also been doing some research for an article I'm writing for a new market I haven't written for before which is exciting!

I Hope your coming writing weeks and those after are both productive and enjoyable.

Happy writing

Julie xx


Little Me said...

I need to stop reading, stop twweting, facebooking and mumsnetting and even slow down on my blogging. Then I might get some proper writing done!

Julie P said...

Don't we all, Little Me! LOL!

Julie xx

Nari said...

It's true what you say about the dangers of picking up the voice of the author you're reading at the time.
But I do find myself reading the genre I'm writing, if anything, to make sure I'm doing it right.

Good luck with your new exciting article :) Let us know how it goes.

Nari X

Julie P said...

Hi, Nari,
I think that sometimes you can pick up the other author's voice without realising it. But I too do like to read in the same genre as I'm writing to see if how I'm doing!

Just waiting for the information to come through from various sources on the article - I've planned it, so it's just a case of writing it when all the info is in - I'm enjoying it - a new challenge!

Julie xx