Friday, March 29, 2013

Writers I Can't Stop Reading, Part 1: Introduction

There are certain writers that I start reading, and once I dig into that person’s work, I can’t stop. I have to read all of it. For each writer I feel that way about, there’s a different reason the work is appealing to me.

Then there are other writers I read because someone recommended their work, or I saw an enthusiastic review. I read one book by that author. I might even enjoy the book, but I feel one is enough. I don’t get the sense that I need to know more about that writer’s project or style. I imagine many writers must have those differing responses to what they read. Some writers grab us by the collar and drag us down, and we can’t get loose. Others just give us a sweet little peck on the cheek and bid us farewell.

The writers where I have to read all they wrote, or almost all, are writers who can do something I can’t, or have a quality I’d love to have. I even want to be that writer, at least while I’m reading a book by that author. Sometimes the quality I admire most in that writer is one I hope to emulate. Other times, it’s one I would like to emulate but know I never can. They are just too good at what they do.

In the next few blogs I’m going to discuss some of the writers whose work really grabs me, and why, and some of the writers whose work feels as if I like it, but I don’t need more of it. What differentiates those two types of writers?

T he writers I plan to discuss in this series of blogs include George Orwell, Willa CatherVirginia Woolf,  June Jordan, and Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Other recent posts about writing topics: 
How to Get Published
Getting the Most from Your Writing Workshop
How Not to Become a Literary Dropout
Putting Together a Book Manuscript
Working with a Writing Mentor
How to Deliver Your Message
Does the Muse Have a Cell Phone?
Why Write Poetry? 
Poetic Forms: IntroductionThe SonnetThe SestinaThe GhazalThe Tanka

Praise and Lament
How to Be an American Writer

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