When troubled for things to do, read. When down or stuck or bored, read. To hone your articulation, read. To sharpen the thoughts in your mind, read. Before and after editing, read. Instead of automatically checking Facebook, read. To sober up, read. To get drunk, read.
I say this not to make you a better writer (it will). But because reading makes the writing EASIER. The words fly at you, rather than you having to set traps to remind yourself that you like words, that words are in you, mostly dormant, until someone else’s prose charges yours to life.
And maybe I’m being presumptuous. Maybe you always have words that are willing and ready to fire at the page. And so you, firestarter, should read, too.
Because there’s so much to learn from each other. So much to give and gain and grow in us that comes from sharing beautiful passages clipped straight out of a stranger’s (neighbor’s) mind.
Let us be active muses. Wild, hysterical, happy muses, dancing to the motion in someone else’s prose. Let us read and find friends in the dream.
Books I’m reading right now:
25 inspirational women share their stories in being “sexy, fit & fab.” I’m just getting started on this one, but just a few pages in, I can already tell that it’s filled with golden, empowering information. These women authentically support one another, and that support radiates off the page and makes ME feel supported. Loving the energy. They just made it to Amazon’s Bestseller list, and I couldn’t be prouder of them and my girl Jaime Kalman, who is a featured author in the “Strength” section.
Description: “Discover ways in which in you can learn how to make the most of your assets and discover your beauty from the inside out, fall in love with yourself, and transform your life. Susie Augustin shared her stories and challenges in Sexy, Fit & Fab at Any Age! to inspire women to develop their essences, exude confidence, embrace their true selves and feel extraordinary. In Sexy, Fit & Fab Sirens, she invited 24 Sexy, Fit & Fab women of all ages (20’s through 70’s) to contribute their own stories of overcoming obstacles to obtain success, as well as reveal Sexy Tips on how to live a balanced life, increase your confidence, follow your passions and feel SEXY! In Sexy, Fit & Fab Sirens, you’ll explore six different categories with all types of women who you are sure to resonate with. Which category do you most fit? INSPIRE – Leadership is Sexy ACHIEVE – Success is Sexy INNOVATIVE – Empowerment is Sexy CONFIDENT – Determination is Sexy STRENGTH – Growth is Sexy AGELESS – Sexy over Sixty.”
David Levithan is becoming one of my favorite YA writers. After finishing Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist last week and falling helplessly in love with his part of the prose in particular (Nick & Norah was co-authored with Rachel Cohn), I rushed to the library for another Levithan treat! In comparison to Nick & Norah, Every Day is a bit more ethereal and “supernatural” in its plot— two elements I completely dig. And while there’s some trippy shit going on (the main character, “A,” finds himself/herself inside a new body when the clock strikes midnight and has never lived inside the same body twice), the emotions and especially the desire (for love, for normalcy, for consistency, for adventure) roots this thing in reality. I’m half-way through, and love that he uses this idea of changing bodies to bring up the subject of gender roles, sexual identification, and where our personality, or “self,” finds connection within the world of corporeal breathing.
Description: “There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.”
What are YOU reading? 🙂