Finding Little Gems on the Bargain Book Table.

Have you ever found any good writing books on the bargain tables at Barnes & Noble? I think I found two that might become favorites of mine: Living and Teaching the Writing Workshop by Kristen Painter, and Writing Brave & Free by Ted Kooser and Steve Cox.

What caught my eye in Kristen’s book was a segment on time and the writer. She reminds readers that you don’t have to quit your day job to become a writer,
that many full time writers put in only two or three hours a day writing. She pointed out that J. K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone during her baby’s naptime.

“Don’t think you have to find an eight-hour stretch of time in which to retreat in order to write (not that some writers haven’t done that),” she said. “Simply find fifteen to thirty minutes at first and let that dictate how much time you need, then maybe some weekend you’ll go to the coffee shop and write for a whole hour or more. The more you think like a writer, the more time you will create for your writing.”

The important thing is to write every day, either in your journal or on some writing project that draws your interest. Kooser and Cox say you need to make writing as much a daily routine as having your morning cup of coffee or brushing your teeth.

“For writers, the one essential habit is writing every day. And it’s got three advantages over brushing your teeth:

You’re working hard at your writing for the pure joy of it, as Stephen King says—because you want to, not because a doctor or a spirit of your mother told you to.

Writing is a lot more fun than brushing teeth.

Brushing your teeth is pure process; all you have to show for it in the short haul is a mouth tasting of toothpaste. Writing daily is a process, too, but the result is a product—every single day you’ve got another entry in your journal. Instant gratification!”

Sometimes you can find little gems on the bargain book table.

© 2008 by Laverne Daley

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