We here at Multimedia Meditations Central have decided it’s time to thin out the herd that is the collection of writing books we’ve accumulated over the years. Many are good, but there are duplicates, and duplicates of duplicates. How many rhyming dictionaries is too many, comprehensive or non? And all those books on writing novels? I can’t even make it all the way through one of them. They’re good, I suppose, but they all pretty much read like, well, books on how to write novels. Plus, none of them come with a magic wand for me to wave and make the words appear.
This is not to say the books are bad or poorly written. Not at all. But, and now here’s the shocker, I’ve learned after years and years (and years) of writing a little of this, a little of that, that nothing beats finally sitting down, teeth and fingers gritted, and applying pencil, pen, or electrons to a writing surface, non-electronic or otherwise.
Several of the books I don’t even know where or when I got them or why. I look at the covers and they’re cryptic as code.
Then there are the ones that, yes indeedy, I know exactly why we bought them. We wanted to be rich and famous authors with book contracts and movie deals and fans writing to us wondering why we killed off their favorite characters. Books like “Writing for Dollars”, a short publication titled “101 Ways to Make Money Writing”, “Writers at Work”, and “Intent to Sell: Marketing the Genre Novel”.
These are all fine books, but in my case I’ve learned that, unless I’m looking for something specific, they are distractions. I can read and absorb all this excellent marketing advice but it’s still not writing. Writing is writing. It’s something I need to remind myself of every day. In fact, there are, at least for me, a bazillion ways to not write, and only one sure way to write.
Over the years we’ve amassed writing books on getting to the writer within the writer, getting to the child within the writer, writing for play, writing for bucks, setting schedules, writing freely, writing what I know, writing what I don’t know, grammar tips and tricks, dictionaries on cliches, rhymes, idioms, mystical creatures, magical locales, baby names from various decades, word origins, acronyms, and abbreviations. And let’s not forget the various thesauri.
So, it’s time to pluck, prune, and otherwise weed out. For nothing is quite as effective a writing method as just doing what I’m doing right here.
‘til next time…Adios.