Monday, December 23, 2013

Day 351 0f the 365 Days of Blogging

The author/publisher,
Dane F. Baylis


As I've said before - and it isn't an original thought, only the repetition of what I have been told over and over. If you're going to write at all successfully, you need to read extensively. In the last month, I've read TWO BIRDS AT SWIM by Flann O'Brien, and am just finishing THE COLLECTED STORIES OF ISSAC BABEL.
In the meantime, I've downloaded the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Christian Bible and have begun re-acquainting myself with the mythology and horror of my youth. In addition to this, I've picked up ASK THE DUST by John Fante, the early to mid-twentieth century writer who Charles Bukowski credits as his greatest inspiration, and you can tell I live what I preach. As a matter of fact, the bulk of my concrete Christmas wishes are for books and music.
Then there's a steady stream of, as I like to call them, not "how to's" but "how to do it betters". Books on editing fiction, books on writing better fiction, books on terminologies and conventions. I understand better daily why the writers I most admired were readers above all else. They were the men and women who would spend their last penny, pfennig, or kopeck on a book. They were the people who, when they were their most destitute, practically lived among the stacks of public libraries. They were the individuals whose most courageous act was, quite often, letting someone else critique a work in progress.
So, what are your reading habits? What tomes do you have lying on the nightstand? Are you like me, unable to let a book lay there until you've finished another, instead switching between one or the next as the mood strikes? Do you shun the graphic novels or are you cursed with the twenty-first century need for visuals because you can't visualize in your mind?
Whatever your habitual fare, if you're not pushing yourself to delve deeper into true literature, you are shorting yourself. There is no better training ground for writers of all styles and genres than the works written by real stars in the field. This isn't always the best known face in the crowd, but often someone you see on the back of another work as a blurb or endorsement. So, turn off the boob-tube, the great electronic tit, step away from the social networking sites, get out of the aisles in the bookstore - or the pages on whatever on-line site you regularly purchase your reading material from, and try something new. It can't hurt.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis

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