Whether you can attend the writing classes I will be teaching at the Abington Community Library this fall or you just want to write, I think you might find some of the following information or challenges useful.
- First off, to be a good writer, you must read. As if you didn’t know that already. Pretty simple, if you want to be a writer, you must read. And, I suggest, read books that are considered good writing. (More about that later.) You will learn a lot and probably have already learned a lot about writing simply through reading. You just don’t know how much yet.
- Let me suggest that you read with questions, like why did they do it like that? What keeps me reading? What is this really about?
- Then, does it look like they did any research? What kind of research might have gone into this book? Even when you are writing about your own experience, it might be helpful to confirm what you remember, or think you remember.
I’m not saying that you have to read with a microscope, but every once in a while, think about what the writer is doing. Also, it is helpful if you read in the genre that you write or want to write or dream about writing.
If you don’t know where to find good books to read, just google something like the following:
- The Best Fiction Books of 2019 So Far
- The Best Books of 2019 (So Far)
- Best nonfiction books 2019 So Far
- 38 Best Non-fiction books out in 2019
- Most Anticipated Christian Fiction 2019
- Christianity Today’s 2019 Book Awards
Or ask the librarian or another reader. You might even post a question on Facebook about what people are reading.
I’m teaching a class on memoir writing, so I just finished Patrimony by Philip Roth. It’s the account of a son caring for his father during his last days. Before that I read the book former President Obama wrote right after graduating from Harvard: Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. This book is not about politics; it is about self-discovery and honesty and needs to be read with a desire to learn something, not to prove something you already know.
Right now I am reading Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber, her one year journey to faith at Oxford University in England.
Well, that’s enough for today. I will be posting more from my teaching notes for Creative Writing and Nonfiction/Memoir Writing, classes which start September 18th at the Abington Community Library in Clarks Summit.
Someone asked me if you have to be a local resident to come. No, you don’t have to be a Clarks Summit resident to join us. But if the distance is an issue, you can follow us along here. I hope you find something useful on your journey, even if you are writing only for your family. More on that later, I promise.