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23 Jul Posted by in Meetings | 4 comments

There’s a reason we want to write.

Yes, we have something to say. But there are other ways to do that. We could preach, we could teach, we could paint, or dance, or even form a picket line.

But we write.

Yes, we want to touch lives.  But we could do that through service, or song, through gifts or time together, or even dare I say, politics.

But we write. Because deeper than these motivations is a part of us so fundamental that we can’t imagine life without it, may not even recognize it’s presence.

It is the love of story.

Long before I wrote, I read. When I was young and got in trouble, I would be grounded from novels. I still devour more books than my bank account would like. And I’m not alone. I’m guessing y’all know that hunger for the freedom that waits in the uncracked spine of a new novel. And then there are those books on the shelf, now ugly from being read so many times, that make you smile when you see them. They are familiar like old friends.

Well, when I started writing I got the advice that I should stop reading so I didn’t write in someone else’s voice, or pilfer their story on accident.  I also heard that I should read passages from my favorite novel to get my mind in that limitless place where stories are born.

I took the second option to heart, since it suited me. And you know what? It worked.  Now, if you haven’t fully realized your writing voice yet, you can still do this. But go back later and read it out loud and see if it sounds like you. If not, change it…and maybe pick a selection from a different novel next time. But I think part of what makes those certain stories wind so deeply inside is that the voice of the author is familiar. A little like…ours.

Beyond that, it is just inspiring to read a great passage. It makes me want to write better, write more, and write right now.

Okay, so I don’t do this every time, but a few of the books that just make me happy when I pass the shelf are:

Kissing Adrien by Siri Mitchell

The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter

Love Starts with Elle by Rachel Hauck

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

Splitting Harriet by Tamara Leigh

Reclaiming Nick by Susan May Warren

The Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters

 

So who are your go-tos, that you can read and re-read, and read again, and still get lost in the story?

 

  1. Nichole Hall07-24-12

    Great post! There are many times when I can’t get the creative juices flowing I pick up one of my ‘go-to’ books. They never fail to get me excited about reading and writing once more.

    Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
    North & South Trilogy by John Jakes
    Blood Brothers Trilogy by Nora Roberts
    Redemption Series by Karen Kingsbury
    The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
    Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

    I’ve not read anything by Rachel Hauck or Susan May Warren but fully intend to as I’ve heard they are great writers. I am anxious to read Rachel Hauck’s newest- The Wedding Dress. The premise sounds great!

  2. Jenny Carlisle07-24-12

    Great post! I don’t often reread my favs, but I certainly do have a list of favorite authors. I know that if I see something by Rachel Hauck, Susie Warren, Deb Raney, Kim Sawyer, I’ll enjoy it.I think it’s essential to read what we want to write. My imagination is just strange enough that I don’t think I’ll steal anyone else’s ideas.

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  4. Scott09-25-12

    Tolkien and C.S. Lewis are old standbys. I am currently working on something in the Young Adult – Fantasy genre, so I am avoiding reading them in order to avoid too much direct influence.

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