Wednesday, August 23, 2006

don't fight the obsession

I'm in the middle of two writing books: On Writing by Stephen King, and The Art of Writing by John Gardiner.

They both make the point that in order to write well, you must read a lot. Tonight I drew up a list of 30 books I want to read. As a child, I went through one 300-page novel every 1-2 days, but now I am 50 times slower.

Growing up, my mother repeated daily to me that reading novels is a waste of time. To parents out there, please don't stop your kids from obsessive reading! You may be suppressing their deep love for literature and ingraining guilt into them over a passion that they cannot control! Take the time you would've spent forcing them to play the piano / violin / cello and let them read instead.

7 comments:

Meng said...

Niniane, 我现正放暑假,大把时间阅读.愿不愿意公开一下你的书单呢?

你的huge fans

Tom said...

阅读是需要一定的耐心的. 我经常无法完成一本书. 有时是因为我没耐心的结果.你一定比我要好多了啊. 哈哈

John Graham said...

Weinberg on Writing has been useful to me as well...

Knittin 'n Stitchin said...

I absolutely love Steven King's book. I'm surprised more people don't read it.

ebaypoet said...

you cannot start to learn to play music by only reading about music. you learn by playing, and playing, and when you're too tired to play, you play some more. it helps to have a good teacher...you see them a few hours a week...but you play for dozens of hours. same for writing.

if you have one hour a night, spend 15 minutes reading. then go write for 45 minutes. better yet, write for 60. then share what you think is worthy with people who will give you REAL feedback.

it is truly the ONLY way; unless, of course, you want to hack (in the original meaning of the word) like Steven King.

If you MUST read something that will really and truly help: The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

tin420 said...

Funny, on how are parents differ from each other. I remember that my parents have always encouraged me to read anything including novels. I mean just by reading anything you will learn a lot.
By the way I love stephen kings' works. Nice blog!

Anonymous said...

I recently tracked the time my 7-year-old spends reading (I'm that kind of nerd). It came out to a little over 4hrs/day.

He can't play ball, though.