I’ll just leave this one here.
I’ll just leave this one here.
I recently did the Neil Gaiman Masterclass. Although a lot of what he spoke about didn’t help with personal essays or even memoirs, I did take several lessons away for writing, and life, in general.
Working on my current manuscript, I have been reading a lot! Writing is reading. You can’t do one without the other. Although I have enjoyed plenty of fiction, I have also been researching with some great reads on writing. I have a pile of books on the topic that will be absorbed at some point, but for now I’ll talk about the ones I have completed since isolation. First is:
You will not find it on Ann Patchett’s website, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. But you can download it here for free. It is a 75-page essay on her biggest lessons in writing. I can summarize them here, but do yourself a favour and download it for inspiration later. I am not nearly as inspiring.
Many of these I already do, pat on back administered. Namely 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 13, and 14 but that is it. Apparently I have a lot to learn! I half-ass a lot of the others, but I’ll work on making improvements with those too.
What are your strengths from this list? What are you working on?
If you have never heard of or read a cozy mystery, you are in for a treat. They are quick beach reads that features an amateur sleuth, no gore, a hint of romance, a steady pace as the protagonist investigates, and it is all set in a lovely place–in this case Oxford.
I had never read a cozy mystery before but my friend Lynn wrote this so I jumped at the chance to be one of her first readers and reviewers. Even though she is my friend, I don’t recommend books to friends that I didn’t fully enjoy myself. This book, I recommend!
Murder At St Margaret is an engaging and fun read! I thought all the characters complimented each other very well, and it was a spritely whodunit. H was hysterical; Harry was charming and sweet; Edward a complex and exciting addition to the crime-fighting team. But not nearly the MOST interesting. That, you will have to discover for yourself! It is the strength of the protagonist and her naively charming approach to larger-than-life problems that make you want her to succeed. Anyone who loves her Wellies as much as Nat does is welcome in my home any time. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.
It can be lonely work being a writer. “And your taste is why your work disappoints you,” really resonates from the Ira Glass quote above. I keep plugging at it, sometimes with the pace of a molasses marathon, other times with the intensity of a teenage boy who just discovers porn.
I have been writing regularly for six years now, with a blog and four unfinished manuscripts to show for it. Since being in isolation, I think I finally understand what has been stopping me from finishing any of these projects. It isn’t a lack of interest, ideas, worth, or motivation. It is the fear of being vulnerable. Being exposed to myself and the world for my disappointment. Yet, that is exactly why I have to finish. Watch out! I’ve been a girl on a mission.