Know what you're reading.
Winter Writing Assignment 5
"The body of literature, with its limits and edges, exists outside some people and inside others. Only after the writer lets literature shape her can she perhaps shape literature. In working-class France, when an apprentice got hurt, or when he got tired, the experienced workers said, "It is the trade entering his body." The art must enter the body, too. A painter cannot use paint like glue or screws to fasten down the world. The tubes of paint are like fingers; they work only if, inside the painter, the neural pathways are wide and clear to the brain. Cell by cell, molecule by molecule, atom by atom, part of the brain changes physical shape to accommodate and fit paint."
— Annie Dillard
We learn from everything we read, no matter the subject or genre. What we read informs our own writing. What have you read this year? Go to your bookshelf, scroll through your tablet, and make note of all the books you've spent time with this year. Write the titles and authors down in a list. What has each book taught you about your own writing? On a separate page, write down one thing you've learned or noticed from each of the books. Examples could be, "I am fascinated when reading about women's friendships," or "Remember to take time to describe the way things taste," or "Pages of fast dialogue are fun and easy to read." Whatever you notice about each book will be a personal writing lesson, just for you.
Photo credit (top): Lucas Van Oort on Unsplash.
Photo (with quote): Whistler, British Columbia.