If I want to write, I have to read. It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter if I set my alarm for 5:30 and then, after an hour of checking emails and E! Online finally bash out a sentence or two. It doesn’t matter if I meet one critique group in person every Wednesday and another on-line with a third bi-monthly coffee date with a writing buddy. All these groups and meetings don’t amount to a hill of beans if I’m not studying the craft of writing. And what’s the best way to study? Read.
Before I hightailed it down to my local book emporium I perused my own shelves and pulled out my copy of The Workshop: Seven Decades of the Iowa Writers Workshop. What a treasure. Forty-three stories beginning in 1932 with Wallace Stegner. The decades include Flannery O’Connor, Raymond Carver, Jane Smiley, Pinckney Benedict, Abraham Verghese and ZZ Packer. You would think that would be enough to keep me busy.
Thanks to my local bookstore I ended the day with The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg, The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor, Kay Ryan’s Say Uncle (poetry) and the literary journal American Short Fiction.
So, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve some reading to do.