Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Is Your Creativity on Writer's Strike?

Confessions of a Researchaholic

“The pen is the tongue of the mind.” —Miguel de Cervantes

Does your brain ever suffer from writer’s strike—creative paralysis that stifles your writing? Author of over 170 books, Jerry Jenkins does not believe in writer’s block.

I confess…when someone talks about writer’s block, I am at a loss. I do not relate. Currently, thirty-eight books fueling my imagination are within fingertip range of my bed. I’m frustrated because there is not enough time to develop every writing idea that grabs my heart.

Avoid Writer’s Strike—Read. Read. Read.

Bob Hostetler, a keynote speaker at Writing for the Soul put a face on what “read” looks like. He mentioned that Lauren F. Winner, who wrote Girl Meets God, does not watch TV and owns 4000 books in her library. Immediately, guilt induced by my book-buying obsession flew out the window.

Draw Up a Reading Plan
Hostetler made these points:

  • Writers are careful about what they read.
  • What they read is what they know.
  • What they know is what they write.

A partial list of the hundred books on Bob's yearly reading plan includes 1 biography, 4 classics, 2 writing books, 1 memoir, 1 poetry collection, and 2 new authors. Read books by favorite authors, in a new field, in leadership, that are inspirational, about prayer, books about books—plus more my writer’s conference-carpal-tunnel-impaired-hand failed to write down.

No longer will I be embarrassed to say, “I sleep with my laptop, plus the ten books I am reading this week.”


Tiffany Stuart said...

Great post. I felt better too about my book pile. I read a book last year titled My Well Read Life. The author encouraged us to read what we love and for pleasure. Pick only the best. There are so many books begging for our attention, why not invest in great writers?

Anyway, I've got your back, Scoti.

Enjoy your bed full of books and such.

Beth K. Vogt said...

I loved Bob Hostetler's talk. It was quite challenging: Read. Pray. Write. I hope we can brainstorm our reading lists tomorrow at writers group.

elizabeth said...

LOL...I read about 10 books at the same time, too. Which is probably why I have way more writing ideas than I have time to actually get them all on the page. I think my main problem is with focus--sticking with one idea long enough to actually make something substantial out of it, beyond a blog post or short essay (perhaps this is why I went with journalism). If I could focus like that, then who knows...maybe I'd actually finish writing a book!

Great advice on writers being intentional about what they read. Also, last summer I read Lauren Winner's book, Real Sex, and it was very insightful and thought-provoking! I should read some of her other books...

Scoti Springfield Domeij said...

Attending a writer's conference is a great way to help you focus--especially when an editor asks you to submit a book proposal or an article. Last night I discovered Real Sex--the book. I'm writing a book entitled Sex Is Like a Cheeseburger and I'm hoping to see how my book is different than Lauren's.

elizabeth said...

LOL. I like the title of your book. That definitely piqued my curiosity!

I'll have to look into the possibility of going to a writer's conference when the opportunity arises.

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