Welcome to this Saturday Edition of What We’re Writing and Reading.
We’re taking a little detour on the weekends now to share some of what we’re up to with our writing (when we’re not here) and what we’re into with our reading (around the web). We’ll also pull back the curtain a little to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what went into a piece.
We hope you enjoy this little diversion and encourage you to share your own posts and picks in the comments.
Happy writing! Happy reading!
Jamie Wallace: It’s Friday night as I write this. My daughter and beau are rough-housing in the other room and my two cats – Cinder & Bella – are waiting patiently for their dinner. I’m coming off what feels like the fifth or sixth week in a row of hardcore, brain-draining copywriting projects. To say that I feel a little fuzzy is a major understatement. I feel like my muse is nursing a hangover on the heels of a serious bout of insomnia and sleep deprivation. She’s not looking good.
Fingers crossed, I will catch a bit of a break after next week, and I have to admit that my inner creative writer is fairly trembling in anticipation. Even my usually dependable Morning Pages have fallen by the wayside, so I’m long overdue for some noodling time. Until then, however, I continue along, nose-to-grindstone and grateful for the work and the lovely clients. Tomorrow is another day and next week is another week.
What I’m Writing: I’ve been wrapping up the website content for a credit reporting agency (which has been an enlightening experience given that I’m shopping for a home and the bulk of this agency’s business is servicing mortgage brokers and lenders). I’ve also been pulling together a research paper/ebook for one of my favorite marketing clients.
I didn’t have time to write for my own blog this week, but I’m working on a column that will appear in my local paper in a week or two.
I HAVE A QUESTION: I often wonder (and sometimes worry) that all the marcom (marketing & communications) writing I’m doing might negatively affect my ability to write creative nonfiction and fiction. On the one hand, I believe that “writing is writing” and any form of the craft will help me improve. On the other hand, perhaps the marcom writing puts me at risk of losing my creative writer’s voice. What do you think? Anyone else out there in the same quandry?
What I’m Reading: I’m happy to report that although I’ve often been working until midnight, I’m still reading a little each night. The funny thing is – though I crawl to bed feeling like I can barely keep my eyes open, once I’m a page or so into reading, I suddenly get a second wind and feel like I could stay up all night, nestled comfortably between the pages of my book.
In addition to my nightly reading, I enjoyed an audio book of the Sherlock Holmes short story The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that it was my first time reading any of Doyle’s work, but I’m happy to report that I found it charming. It was fun to read something that I wouldn’t normally pick up (it was a freebie for Audible.com members).
And then, of course, there were the blog posts – all the lovely blog posts. 🙂
7 Fatal (But Avoidable) Mistakes Freelancer Writers Make by @tomewer (For more along these lines, you can check out my two-part series on the secrets of successful freelance writers.)
Hey, Kid: Thoughts For The Young Oddballs We Need So Badly by @nprmonkeysee (Let your inner geek child come out and play. We need all the geeks we can get.)
The Frazzled Writer: 5 Strategies for Alleviating the Guilt by @tglong (Ditch the guilt. It’s not doing you any good.)
What Inspires Me: Amare and Things That Go Bump in the Night @annhandley (Most people know Ann as a marketing dynamo and the face of Marketing Profs, but she is also a mom, a dog lover, and a wonderful writer. This evocative piece made me want to get out my notebook and pen.)
And my favorite writing quote of the week:
“… if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
– Madeleine L’Engle
(Hat tip to @wellfedpoet for that one!)
P.S. Just one more. 😉 Couldn’t resist this series of photos of Grumpy Cat at his very own book signing:
NOW … Go write!
Question Mark Image Credit: Leo Reynolds
Deborah Lee Luskin: As always, I’m amazed at how productive my colleagues are. So, this reminds me to remind myself that every writer is different, everyone’s process is different, and comparing myself to how other writers do it is as unhelpful as
comparing myself to how other women look. So I won’t go there.
I’ve been silent on these Saturday pages because I’d just be writing the same thing week after week: more progress on my novel. When I’m this deep into a book, I think I’m a pretty boring person. Basically, I’m either thinking about what I’m going to write, writing, or thinking about what I’ve just written. I do this while hanging laundry, picking berries, plucking chickens, and other activities of daily living on my farm. But this week I did a little calculating: Since starting over (again) on June 2, I’ve written over 280 pages, and the end of this very incomplete, very sloppy copy is in sight!
I’ve completed about five books (so far) in my life, so this process is mildly familiar and very exciting. I’ve been thinking about this book for years, and I finally feel as if it’s one I can tell – I am telling – and the writing is now fun, the narrative problems ones I can solve. So, I don’t really want to go out, invite friends in, watch movies, or even think about the state of the world (maybe especially not think about the state of the world). I just want to get to the end of this draft. And for the first time, it seems like I can and will. That said, I did host my family for a celebration of my dad’s 88th birthday this week.
I finally finished reading Dear Life, a collection of short stories by Alice Munro, and now I’m reading The Tie That Binds by Kent Haruf. And the usual assortment of newspapers and magazines as well as a few posts that come my way, like the one about Jane Austen’s portrait to be printed on the 10-pound note in Britain. And today, I’ll get dressed and go forth to build my audience at Bookstock, the literary festival I’ve been invited to speak at in Woodstock, Vermont. And, as always, I’m thinking of my next post for Live to Write – Write to Live. Stay tuned!