I purchased Ann Kroeker and Charity Craig’s book On Being a Writer when I attended a workshop they held back in November. The workshop was about developing habits for a writing life that lasts. I started reading and working through the book over the Thanksgiving break and into early December.
Here’s the review I put up on Amazon:
When you buy this paperback, it’s like buying a whole writing workshop. Which isn’t surprising, since the book grew out of an online workshop Kroeker & Craig led for Tweetspeak Poetry. Instead of zooming through the book quickly, I forced myself to slow down and take it one chapter at a time, journaling through each of the “12 simple habits for a writing life that lasts.” Sometimes I found more to write about from the authors’ personal stories, and other times I found inspiration in the Exploration section at the end of each chapter. If you want to grow in your writing life, buy this book and take some time with it.
Well, now it’s January, and I’d like to take even more time with it. I’m going to spend the rest of the month, every weekday, sharing some of the journaling I did and writing some new things. I may even squeeze in an interview or two. *wink*
In the meantime, if you’re still trying to decide if this book is for you, check out Ann’s 3-minute podcasts over at her blog.
To begin, what have I been doing with my writing life lately? Following Stephen King’s advice, as quoted in chapter 3: Surround of Charity & Ann’s book: Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life.
I read a lot over the Christmas break. Some was deep and meaningful. Some was fun. Some was for work. I’m currently savoring Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, a memoir in verse. It’s just a whole new way to tell a story. It makes me want to try it.
I also get a lot of creative inspiration from music, and currently, it’s the “Into the Woods” soundtrack (NOT the movie version, the Broadway one). I walk the dogs and listen to the songs in order and come home and write about them. Then the next day I pick up where I left off, both listening and writing. I’m a little obsessed, but it’s a happy obsession. When the gang discussed the movie on the podcast “Pop Culture Happy Hour,” these were my two favorite quotes: 1) from Stephen Thompson, “Stephen Sondheim can write the holy living hell out of a song,” and 2) from Glen Weldon, “You can bounce a quarter off of this plot.” Gentlemen, thank you!
These are the things I’m surrounding myself with right now, things that are contributing to my writing, although exactly how is still a mystery. I don’t have to understand it — only write to it.
This post is a reprint of “Kroeker & Craig’s ‘On Being a Writer,’ January 7.
Jump start your own writing life. Consider taking this workshop with Kroeker & Craig, beginning March 2: Writing Workshop: On Being a Writer.
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