image source: 3ftdeep.com
Thanks once again to Mandi for supporting me in the last Manuscript in Motion Monday last week! She did a great post on her blog about what blogging means to her as a fledgling writer. Good stuff!
This month at MMW we are participating in the A to Z blogging challenge. If you'd like to find out more about what that is, check out the button at the top of the page.
Today is the second day of April, so I've got the letter B...and B is for BOOKS!
Books are important to me because I am an osmosis kind of creator.
What does that mean, you ask?
Well, take my paper crafting, for example. Whenever I need to create a pretty card for a friend, I find that the best method is to look through paper crafting magazines or blogs and get inspiration. When I "get inspiration", I don't usually find an idea that I like and use it as a template; rather, I look through the beautiful photos and just let the creativity kind of sink in. I put the magazines away and then get to work. My subconscious seems to absorb the inspiration through some kind of osmosis and it translates into my own language of creativity.
I've discovered that the same method works for me as a writer. I am a new writer, so I am still discovering my "voice", my writing style, and even my genre. The best way for me to explore these things is to read a lot. When I read, I do it for the enjoyment of the experience but I also keep my writer's hat on. I can see how the things I'm reading influence what I'm writing and how I'm writing.
Here's an example: in high school I kept a regular journal, and I recently came across a journal entry I had written right after reading a Jane Austen novel. I wrote it as kind of a joke to myself, but it was interesting to see how easily the flowery antiquated language came to me after I had been immersed in it for so long. My brain was in Austen-mode!
You know the saying, "You are what you eat?" Well, I think we could say, "You write what you read."
If you need to find a good book to inspire your creativity but you need some literary guidance, here are some of my favorite ways to find my next inspiration:
Goodreads.com - Don't you hate it when a friend asks for a good book recommendation and you know you've read some good stuff within the last couple of years but for the life of you you just can't remember what it is? This site gives you an account where you can keep track of everything you read AND you can see what your friends have read, are reading, and what they thought of it! I'm always peeking at my friends' lists for new recommendations.
Good Clean Reads - This is a great blog by an LDS lady who actually has a rating system for all the books she reads. She rates them based on the sex, violence, and profanity content, and her ratings are pretty specific so you can trust that you're not going to pick up something you'll have to put right back down again (don't you hate that?). And for those of us outside LDS Land (aka, Utah or other places that carry LDS authors in their libraries), she does a lot of popular fiction. This blog is actually where I discovered The Hunger Games years- yes, years- ago!
What Should I Read Next? - From their website: "Enter a book you like and the site will analyse our huge database of real readers' favorite books to provide book recommendations and suggestions for what to read next." I have not personally used this site (well, I've entered some books but haven't read the recommendations yet) but it looks interesting. Anyone else given this one a try?
The New MMW Website - This is a work in progress, but it sounds like Nikki has some exciting things in store for us when it comes to helping us choose good, uplifting books. This site will be an opportunity for us to support authors who are striving toward our goal of "changing the world one book at a time." Check out her post about this awesome new project here: Boldly Announcing Our Goals, and find out how you can help us achieve this.
Do you think what you read influences what you write? How do you find good books to keep you going?