I’ve been reading books on writing, as usual. I expect to be a lifelong learner. I bought a used book at the library for twenty-five cents by Marcia Yudkin entitled, Freelance Writing For Magazines and Newspapers: Breaking In Without Selling Out, copyrighted in 1987, 1988. It’s outdated some, of course, but it’s very thorough and interesting. I like to read writing books because there’s always something to glean and I’ve heard that what you are comes through in your writing. I’m getting to know about her through the choices she makes in her life which became examples of writing for the readers of her book. She shows re-writing of manuscripts that got submitted to major magazines, and accepted for publication. The more I read about making it in the publishing world, the more I realize that it takes talent, discipline to learn the craft of writing and a lot of hard work.
Ms. Yudkin emphasizes taking time to think through what main point the author wants to make and then shows the connecting of the dots. I know it’s always necessary to re-write and I don’t mind that, but sometimes I get stuck trying to perfect what I’m writing and it never goes anywhere. There’s a danger for writers in being too perfectionistic. I like Dr. Dennis E. Hensley’s books on writing and life management as well.
A very thoughtful book I’m reading at the moment is called Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. It is a Pulitzer Prize winner, so I hoped it would be good. I’m only a sixteenth of the way through, but the author is telling the story of an octogenarian looking back on his life and writing a letter to his young son. How the author must have thought and pondered and possibly lived with men that expressed their souls in such a way that it inspired her to write of deep and beautiful and awe-inspiring slices of life. I really like how realistically she portrayed his wife. I read Marilynne Robinson’s book and then I fairly burst to write, although it’s taken me four days of reading to get to the computer to jot down some thoughts.