THE WRITER IS A READER WHO WRITES

October 11, 2012

Yes, I’m late this week. I should be ashamed to admit I’ve been on a reading binge, but can’t honestly do that because reading is the first skill of a writer. Never mind what Ms. Schellberger in fourth grade taught you; cursive is NOT essential for a literate writer. Reading is.

I can’t even remember when I started reading. My mom always said by the age of three, I was reading on my own.  By the age of ten, I had read almost every book in my school library and became the proud possessor of a library card. ‘Course, my mom had to actually check out some of my books because I was too young for some of my choices. Tulsa Public Library had a policy of restricting books to age groups…and I was already reading way beyond my age.

All through life, I had one major dream. To be able to read as long as I wanted to read. When I was doing housework, I wanted to be reading. When I was at my job, I wanted to be reading. And, if I’m totally honest, there were even times with my kids, I’d rather be reading. Sorry, guys, but you enjoyed the soccer far more than I did! But I was always there, cheering for you, wasn’t I?

Now that I’m retired, I find myself wanting to sit in my recliner and do nothing but read. Just finish one book and immediately start another. I know, I know! I can’t do that. In the first place, I’d die of starvation. But I have to admit, the temptation is strong. Meanwhile, my writing suffers. No, it’s as sporadic as when I was working. I haven’t even done any more on Kindlelizing my backlist than buying my ISBNs from Bowkers.

Part of the problem is getting a consistent schedule set up. I thought it would be simple to institute a work schedule of up at 0800, on the keyboard by 0810, write a minimum of two hours, then spend the rest of the day in various ways, depending on what needed to be done. Didn’t work. Then I tried up at 0800 and spend my day as needed as long as I got a minimum of 1000 words done. Didn’t work.

So today, I’m going to try something else. I’m going to do what I did when I got my first three books completed. Since I worked 7AM to 3PM, I got up at 0400, wrote an hour, and then got ready for work, This is the first morning I’ve tried it and I have to admit, writing my blog may not be in the spirit of what I wanted to accomplish, but it feels right.

There is just something about the early morning that releases my creative juices. I don’t know if it’s because it’s an hour when the world is slowly coming awake. Or maybe because there really isn’t anything on TV that interests me.

Or maybe it’s just that this is the time meant to be my writing time. I hope so. I’m ready for routine in my writing. I’ve been soooo long without it.

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Why Blog?

January 21, 2010

Let me make myself perfectly clear.  I blog when I have to, but don’t really understand the value of blogging.  As an author, I’ve been told that having a blog is a good way of building readership.  I don’t read many blogs; would rather spend the time reading a book.  And that includes the blogs of my favorite authors.  I’m the member of a couple of group blogs (www.writingsluts.com and www.ninc.com ), but it’s always a struggle trying to think what to write.

My cousin Colleen has a personal blog which my dad thinks is a hoot.  I don’t even know how to get to it, much less read it.  I know people who say they “socialize” through their blogs with friend and family.  Me?  I’d rather talk, face to face, over a cup of coffee.  And for those to far away, I’m “tech” enough to like email, but, again, it’s more one on one than a blog.

I think a blog is perfect for someone like Erma Bombeck.  For those of you too young to know who Erma was, she started writing a weekly column with her local newspaper.  She didn’t cover world events or even her city’s political scene.  She wrote about her life as a suburban housewife and mother.  Eventually, she was syndicated in hundreds of papers.  And funny?!  She used to write about labeling the cobwebs in her living room corners as the children’s science fair projects so she wouldn’t have to dust.  Or how she painted a target inside her toilet so she could train her boys how to aim right.

So, with a thought Erma’s as my inspiration, that’s probably how my blog is going to go.  Mostly absurd, sometimes serious, and hopefully with a touch of humor.  So stay tuned; I have no idea where I’m going to ramble, but you’re welcomed to come along.