Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Reading Across Genres

I'm sure you've heard how important it is to read widely in the genre you write. For instance, if you write young adult (YA), you should read a truckload of it to know the expectations and nuances of the genre. YA is typically faster-paced and more action-oriented than say, literary book club fiction. There are always exceptions but you should at least know the rules before you break them. Reading is crucial if you want to progress as a writer. Even Stephen King mentions that he reads as much as he writes during a day.

I agree completely with this, but I'm also in favor of reading outside your genre as well. Though I write YA, I just finished The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obrecht (loved it), and am about to start The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach for my book club. I think reading widely allows you to gain more perspective and opens up new possibilities for your writing. Several women in my book club just read 50 Shades of Grey, and though I'm not sure I want to read quite that widely, I admire their resolve to read mommy porn across genres. ;)

What about you? Do you often read outside of your chosen genre? What was the last book you loved that wasn't in the genre you write?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Writing Structure

Ha! You thought this post was going to be about plotting or outlining or something else story-structure related. But it is not. Today I'm talking about structuring your writing... life.

One of the most surprising discoveries I had about living my dream of working from home is that it is very difficult for me to actually... work. Despite having a home office and plenty of time to dedicate to writing, I tend to find myself doing all sorts of other things when I should in fact be writing. It's strange really. I love to write. And it's not really that hard for me to hammer out 1k a day, and yet... frequently I find myself turning on the laptop and then... sorting clothes for a load of laundry, organizing my bookshelf, running to the store, reading the news, all with the thought in the back of my mind that I have ALL DAY to get my writing done, but these other things really should be done NOW.

Right. I am definitely one of those people who, the busier I am, the more I get done. If I can only squeeze in 30 minutes of writing in a day, I will write during that time. I work best with deadlines or when someone is waiting for something from me. I like having a list of things to do (okay, I like lists in general, if I'm being honest) but when the things I need to do are only for myself, I tend to falter. And then my dream life becomes, not quite a nightmare, but like one of those dreams where all you have to do is walk down the hall to the next room, but the hall keeps getting longer and you just keep walking and walking, but not reaching that room.

So. I'm going to try coming up with a strict schedule for myself. Something that has a lot on it, and a little time for writing. (I'm also going to finally start using Mac Freedom. I think.) I'm interested in knowing how those of you that have more "free" time available to write manage to actually write and not do something else. What are your tricks to staying focused?

Monday, April 2, 2012


We are off for Spring Break this week and will see you soon! :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...