Do you think Book Group Discussions help us as writers? I was recently moderating a group of sixth grade girls with a gaggle of mother’s in tow. We had read Rebecca Stead’s Newberry Prize novel When You Reach Me. As we discussed the plot and questioned the author’s choices and her telling of this particular story I couldn’t help but thinking that one day I want to be the author absent from the room unable to defend myself being debated by a group of readers. I questioned if it helped from a writer’s standpoint to dissect a book to such a critical level, seeking answers to questions that I wonder if Rebecca Stead had even thought about as she wrote!!! Once I was moderating a discussion of Geraldine Brooks’ novel Year of Wonders and one of the readers had the audacity to comment that she certainly hoped Geraldine had done her research!!! Could you imagine questioning someone of Geraldine Brooks’ writing stature if she did her research??? Anyway, I offer this up for discussion — book groups fun for the reader, helpful for the writer?
Monthly Archives: April 2010
I love what you wrote Erica, especially emphasizing "supportive and guilty." No matter how supportive our families, we can choose to feel guilty for not writing "enough." I use all sorts of tricks on the days that I have decided to write and some of them may work for you. I tell myself that I only need to write for ten minutes and that if I want to stop after ten minutes I can. Usually after ten minutes I love what I am doing and want to continue. But before I begin I am afraid that I won’t be able to write and this little trick can help me to get started, to dip my toe into the water. The fear of beginning is what stops me. I also make a list of things I can do as little breaks if I get blocked in my writing — take a walk, take a shower, make a cup of tea, some little ten-minute task, etc. I like to feel I can escape from writing if I need to. I don’t usually need to but I don’t want to feel trapped. The walk can be very helpful to help shake up my mind with a tough part of the story. All the days that I don’t write (other than in my journal) help me on the days that I do write. I need to be filled up by my life.
Interesting if you’re thinking of publishing your work.