Reading Circles – A Writer’s Book of Days {Part 5}

Happy Friday everyone! Spring is in the air, isn’t it? It’s calling to me to get out in nature with nothing but a pen and journal. How about you?

Did you get a chance to think a bit about your literary influences? Whose writing stuck with you? Shaped you – as a person, as a reader, as a writer? I confess I had a lot of fun making a list of all the authors who’ve been important to me (though I’m sure I’ve probably forgotten some), and figuring out where they would fit in my family tree. Here’s mine:

You could probably say my family’s rather…eclectic. These people have all influenced me, either in writing style: tension (Rowling, Ishiguro), beautiful or surprising imagery (See, Murakami, Chopin, Palahniuk, Lee), complicated and engaging characters (pretty much all of them); or they’ve shaped my heart in some way unforgettable (Joyce, Dostoevsky, L’Engle, Roberts).

What does yours look like? Link it up below! Feel free to do a graphic element like mine, draw it out and scan it in, or write it all in prose – whichever you prefer!

This week is our last week reading Judy Reeves’ A Writer’s Book of Days together. What did you guys think of the book? Did it inspire you at all? Did you find it helped with any aspects of your writing? This week, I’d like us to read Guideline 9 together. It’s one of my favorites of the whole book. After all, it begins with one of my all-time favorite quotes: “Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” – Allen Ginsberg

In Guideline 9, she talks about writing about family, getting out of our ruts (cliches or otherwise), developing a writer community, and how to tell when the censor is present. One thing I’ve really hoped to do with these Reading Circles – and that we hope with Bigger Picture Blogs in general – is that we can create a real sense of community here between writers and artists and creatives, to inspire each other but also to have a friendly hand to hold along the way. Writing (or any art) is a lonely process, and having encouragement and constructive criticism at key points along the way can be so important. I hope you find this a safe and welcome place to do that.

So for our last foray into this book, let’s all try to respond to the same prompt together, and have it ready to link up next Friday. Here’s the prompt I’d like to use:

What I said was not what I was thinking.

In the meantime, if you have anything you’d like to link up to receive feedback, please include it in the linky below! It can be a response to something in the book we’re reading or it could be a timed writing you did on your own. If you participate in Just Write or 5-Minute Fridays or similar blog memes, please feel welcome to link it up here too.

Try to visit at least one other person who has joined in. And when you comment on a person’s piece, please comment on 1) what words, images, or phrases stuck with you or really worked for you, and/or 2) how you can see the writer has incorporated some lesson or guideline from what we’ve read here.

Have a fantastic weekend! And pay attention to detail! Especially the telling kind.

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