Friday, February 22, 2013

Reading as Preparation for Writing

This is not news. It's not new; I know. Writers should read; reading helps writers.

But it has been reaffirmed for me recently with two books I've read. Correction : one I am still reading - not yet done. The great thing about the book I'm reading is that I'm doing it the audio book way. I've started up with audio books again because it helps keep my frustration down while driving in heavy traffic and it makes good creative use of that time, as well. And some books are great being listened to, as long as it's a good reader.

And this one is. Both the book and the reader. The audio book I'm reading/listening to is "Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore." It is a fun read. I'm not done with it yet, so I'm hoping the good writing and the fun continue and it doesn't wimp out in the end.

In this process of reading (listening), I feel more connected not just to reading, but to writing, as well. Ideas are coming again and I feel inspiration flowing inward.

I've been busy editing, and working, and some of the work is creative - the theatrical interpreting piece has creative elements and I love theater. But I've been feeling that most of my creative energy has been in output - not much input.

Last week I went to a White Bird sponsored dance performance by Black Grace. That was amazing and energetic and inspiring. Creativity flowed in from that experience. And now with this book, I've even been listening while I'm working out - keeping the step aerobics sound up just high enough so I can keep with the beat but the book turned up louder so I can hear the story. I even turned the volume up as high as it would go (I have it downloaded on my Blackberry) so I could listen in the shower.

I recommend to book.

And I recommend reading for writers. And going to dance performances. And theater. Also try drawing something. Or making a collage. Or going for a walk in a new place and notice. At least get your head out of the space where you are to something new and something which inspires you.

Writing needs inspiration and energy coming in. Find what works for you.

And try Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore. It's a good read, fun, fast-paced - though I can't yet vouch for the ending, it is taking me on a good reading-ride.