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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Step in the Writing Direction

Hello, my name is Chris, and I have a reading addiction. 

It started when I discovered the simple lives of John, Jean and Judy in my grade school primer.  Throughout my childhood, I read everything I could get my eyes on: cereal boxes and billboards, newspapers and magazines, and best of all, novels.  This unquenchable thirst led me on the path to a writing life. 

My public library is my “Cheers” – where everybody knows my name. I show up every other week and pile 10-15 books from the new fiction and mystery shelves into my canvas bag. Because I am so indiscriminate, I often read books that are “less-than-perfect”.  Many of these books are by bestselling authors who seem to churn out something every other month.   
“I could write this stuff,” I think, but I don’t really want to write that stuff, I want to write a book that I would love to read.  (Am I kidding?  It would be great to have an audience that is so accepting of my work.)  So I think about writing “The Book”, but I’m paralyzed, waiting for the Muse to strike me with that great book idea that will take the reading world by storm.

A therapist would say that this lack of progress is fear of failure wrapped up in procrastination. But I know better. Writing a book is hard work; the idea is almost the easy part.  Once you have the story bones, you struggle through finishing the book. You edit, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite and when you finally have your perfect book child you begin the publisher search.  It's a long shot to ever make it to print. 

My day job involves writing, but it’s business propaganda as one coworker once reminded me.  I try to make it creative, but performance management and organizational effectiveness are not at the top of anyone's reading list.  Still, it’s writing practice, and a good source for material. I am always observing personalities, listening to snatches of conversation for dialogue, looking for the theme that will capture someone's imagination.  

When my writer friend Carol invited me to join this blog with two other women writers I saw it as a door to a reading audience. It’s not a novel, but it’s creative writing, one story at a time.  Besides the writing, the companionship I’ve found in my fellow authors has been an unexpected pleasure. 

It feels like the beginning of a great story.  


  1. I'm always dumbfounded when someone says they don,t read books. I can't imagine life without fiction :)

  2. As a writer I try to strike a balance between reading and writing. I love to read, and need to read to learn from other writers, but sometimes I use reading as a way to hide from doing my own work. Best novel I read this summer (and in a long time): Three Junes by Julia Glass.