Reading About Writing

I got up this morning thinking I would work on my novel and I got reading a book by Charlie Shedd entitled, “If I Can Write, You Can Write.” It was published by Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, Ohio and copyrighted in 1984.

He keeps a pocket sized notebook of “Picturesque Speech,” he finds and jots down to read on a fairly regular schedule. It lifts his spirits. On page 57 he wrote: “We are created with some mysterious hookup to the Divine Mind.                                                   And if we develop                                                                                techniques to help Him                                                                                   The Lord will express through us-                                                                                                 something fresh                                                                                                  something attractive                                                                                          something beautiful.”

I loved that. So I wrote it on a 3 x 5 inch card and filed it in a children’s size shoe box that I got after someone went sneaker shopping. I filed it with the title, “Picturesque Speech.”

Then I stole shamelessly two or three of his quotes. I started the 3 x 5 index card file after reading some of “Writing the SHORT STORY: A Hands-On Program” book, written by Jack M. Bickham and published by Writer’s Digest Publishers, Cincinnati, Ohio and copyrighted in 1994. He suggested I carry these note-sized papers on my person so I can capture insights whenever they hit. The file is all set up.

Author Charlie Shedd uses fat notebooks, two at the time of publication. I thought that would be cumbersome for me.

So, voila, I thought of the system already in place.

I’m reading a novel by Lisa Tawn Bergren, “Christmas Every Morning.” It’s publisher is WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, Colorado and is copyrighted 2002.

Here’s picturesque speech from pages nine and ten: “I rolled down my window  to take in a deep breath of desert sage and the faintest hint of pine. This part of New Mexico was covered with the silver green of sagebrush, and the mountains looked as if they had been steeped in the deep green of pine forest tea, the tops dusted with silver snow.”

I thought of copying all of page ten and dividing it on two of the white lined keepsakes. I waited to read this book until I was emotionally ready for it, because it deals with loss. I’m only on page twenty-nine now. I read piecemeal sometimes because of my busy schedule.

Charlie Shedd said that writing is far from an overnight phenomenon. I’m paraphrasing.

“The success of any writer is in direct ratio to the number of times that writer goes back to write.”

He also spoke about continuing to learn the craft of writing and he gives great insights.

What are you working on?



2 responses

  1. I’m working on actually GETTING AROUND to writing. That is a problem in itself. As much as I love to write, it sadly can’t be my priority if I want not to be a homeless person in the future…

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