I’m running late with today’s post because when I arrived at work this morning, I found the entries blocked off due to a suspicious package. Thankfully it was just a box of office supplies, but the morning chaos threw me off my game. On the upside, I got to go home, make my kids an omelet, and drop them off at school before returning to work with the “all clear”. On the downside, my stress levels are high today.
It’s another Insecure Writer’s Support Group day, and I’m still an insecure writer. I wrote 20K towards Isto in January, and I only kept half of it. I checked off another chapter in my list to revise and have started over twice on the chapter I’m currently on. Things are flowing, just not at the pace I’d hoped to achieve.
As a result, I decided to let myself listen to some audiobooks. I tend to get absorbed by books so much so that I stop working on my own writing in favor of listening to them. I’d told myself I wouldn’t listen to an audiobook until I finished working on Isto. Well, I gave in, and thankfully self-discipline has won out. Instead of listening to the audiobooks on my lunch, I wrote like I was supposed to. Best of both worlds!
I started with Peace Talks by Jim Butcher and flowed straight into Battle Ground. They’re pretty much the same book, just broken into two, otherwise it’d be twice as large as the other books in the series. While listening, I asked myself, “what makes me enjoy this?” Partially the pacing. Everything is pushing ahead, moving forward, all the time. Another is the voice and the personality of the character, and how it really shines through the narration.
When I finished those two, I switched to Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline. It wasn’t a good move for me. Everything I enjoyed about Butcher’s writing wasn’t there in Cline’s. The pace slogged, the information got repeated, there was a lot of telling, and I didn’t click with the character. Though the playback time was equal to one of Butcher’s books, it took me as long to finish the one book as it did to finish both of Butcher’s books. It killed my writing momentum, making me worried that I was making the same mistakes in my work that I disliked in Cline’s.
Now I’m on to Shakespeare for Squirrels by Christopher Moore and it’s been a breath of fresh air. Well, fresh air filled with crude humor and excessive profanity, but welcomed nonetheless. Moore’s book pushes at that always-moving-forward pace. He also swaggers between wit and stupid humor in a way that makes me laugh aloud and get weird looks from my coworkers. The voice shines through the narration, ridiculous as it is, and it has once again inspired me to add some flare to my own words. I’m halfway through the book and will probably finish in the next day or so.
I won’t bother you with updates on the Colonel’s Challenge or digital painting. I have done stuff offline, but this post is long enough to bother you with my current art project.
IWSG Question of the Month – Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?
Most of my online friends have been made through blogging. I love learning about other people’s lives and connecting with them, even if I never meet them face-to-face.
Can you read books while writing one of your own? Do you find other writers influence or inspire you? Have you felt dragged down because of someone else’s writing?