When I look back on the years I've been writing I realize that I've gone through cycles. At first I read everything I could by authors I admired. I studied how they did everything my writing teachers and mentors told me to do with my writing. Next I went through a period when I read everything I could get my hands on about the craft of writing. Then I wrote whenever I could squeeze in 20-minutes straight. Later, I read about the lives of other writers--when I wasn't working or writing.
At times the cycle repeated. If I felt burned out on the writing (and I have come to that point about three times in 25 years) I returned to the reading. Reading books of the type I wanted to write. Reading books on the craft of writing. Reading to find inspiration from the lives of other writers.
I've recently allowed a period of burying myself in novels. It was a means to get through several hectic teaching semesters. Whenever I could, I squeezed in revisions on one book, promo work for others, and world-building for a new book. But I've also returned to reading about writing. On Monday I started reading The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction by Philip Athans. So far, I highly recommend it. First, Athans is an editor at fantasy publisher Wizards of the Coast. Second, it is rare among books on this genre for the coverage of fantasy writing. Most well-known books on the topic are heavy on the sf.
I've nearly finished reading it. That's saying a lot since I'm still teaching (and the summer terms are condensed semesters). When I finish I plan to reread and annotate it as I work on that world I'm building. I have a feeling I'm about to go through the "write whenever I can find 20 minutes" phrase of the cycle soon. What a great feeling!
Friday, May 20, 2011
Words are my business! I write, I edit, I teach, I create and give presentations. Obviously words are important to me. They've fascinated me since before I could read. As a writer and educator I enjoy sharing all I've learned during 25 years as a professional writer. So, when I'm not writing or teaching (college, elementary arts enrichment, and writing workshops), I enjoy coaching other writers of all levels.
New writers need help with craft, with how best to weave their words into captivating tales. Other writers need motivation and encouragement when the rejections arrive. Even established authors benefit from someone who truly understands this business. And, it never hurts to have someone to be accountable to in reaching those writing goals. For all these writers, I've created this blog. I'll focus on the craft of writing, words, the writing process, and publishing.