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Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Determination Factor

Determination, drive, decidedness, resolve, whatever the word we choose we must have it in substantive spades if we want to succeed at this thing called "writing." I've taken a few days since my last entry to reevaluate my passions and pursuits, not just in writing, but in my overall life. I had to do that in order for me to find where it is that writing fits in my life dynamic.

Being a wife, mother, teacher, preschool director, as well as assisting my husband in kid's ministry, and running my household, there has to be a "fit" for everything needful. Writing is a needful thing for me, as well of course as reading. And that my friends is where the disconnect has been for me as of late. 

Samuel Johnson once said, "The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book."

I found that as I stopped reading, I stopped growing. I stopped visualizing the dream. The "input" factors to my creative function began to run dry. My determination and drive began to fade. It's true. You may not believe that not reading can have such an effect on us in our writing, but it does and will. The passion to write, the resolve to grow and improve and keep on fire with rapture and enthusiasm for our craft is directly related to our input. We can't output without input.

So, I've picked up my old faithful "Writing the Breakout Novel," by Donald Maass as well as those novels that make me feel good and inspire me. Like Dodie Smith's, "I Capture the Castle." One of my all time faves.

Where do I find the time to read? I look for it everywhere. I have to. Instead of TV, I curl up in my bed with a book. While I'm sitting in my car in the parent pick-up line at my daughter's school, I read. Every chance I get. And, it's made all the difference for me. I no longer feel parched. I feel as though I've had a nice long cool drink of water.

It's amazing that we know what we know, but still make the choices that we do. I knew that when I allowed reading to take a back seat, my writing would suffer. It had to. It made it all the easier to walk away. No challenges. Life is always easier when we have no challenges. But, it's the challenges that create the character within us and the drive to succeed.

So, I guess I've said all of this to simply say, if you're struggling in your writing endeavors and you're not reading... READ!

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." - Mark Twain

XOXO CJ


1 comment:

Kelly said...

Except for the occasional magazine (and reading to my children), I had stopped reading for myself for many years because I thought I was too busy. I recently read a full book last week for the first time in ages. It is refreshing!

Must Reads

  • "A Long Fatal Love Chase" by Louisa May Alcott
  • "Gone With the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell
  • "I Capture the Castle" by Dodie Smith
  • "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo
  • "Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier
  • "The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing" by M.T. Anderson
  • "The Grace Awakening" by Charles Swindoll