Reading like a Writer

I’m not really one of those people that makes New Year’s resolutions. I’m

Aaron Hotchkiss

more of the kind that makes a list of goals on a monthly basis. Sometimes I achieve them. Sometimes I don’t. But there is always something I’m working on.

Right now I’m working on starting my voyage into the ocean of short-story writing. My plan had been to set a 30-day challenge for myself to start writing short stories everyday from a certain date. However, I feel as though I’m lacking the preparation to begin this challenge this week and succeed. So I’ve gotten a bunch of books this week to reset my mind to writing mode. One of these books, and perhaps the most important is Francine Prose’s Reading like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them. As promised by the title, the book is a great tool for the budding writer or in my case — the re-budding writer.

At the moment I’m at the first chapter, entitled “Close Reading.” Now, if you’re unfamiliar with this writer’s tool, here’s a link to a quick summary by Patricia Kain, for the Writing Center at Harvard University. I’ve yet to finish reading this chapter but I’ve already begun to apply this technique when reading the other books I’ve acquired. Most recently I used Close Reading on one of the short stories in Alice Munro’s collection, Lives of Girls and Women. and found  it very beneficial but also not unsurprisingly tiring. [Laughs] I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up when my next semester starts in a week. Or maybe I’ll have gotten used to it.

In any case, I will keep this blog updated as I continue to learn about reading and ultimately about writing.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Like most—maybe all— writers, I learned to write by writing and, by example, by reading books. ~ Francine Prose