I am working extremely hard to live my dream of becoming an outstanding writer who writes great books that are read by many. I want to write the kind of books that change people’s lives for the better.
I am now as busy as a bee, writing, writing and reading and attending live webinars by the masters of the craft to learn how to write great books.
I have been warned by the American author Joseph Harold Bunting of The Write Practice that a writer never stops learning how to write so I have started on this journey of a lifetime.
This same author has come up with 10 steps that a writer should follow to become a great writer who writes great stories. You have guessed it , number four on this list is: to keep reading books; books you fully understand and others you do not understand. He advises that I keep reading those I do not understand until I do!
At one point in my life, I looked for the books I had enjoyed reading while growing up. These included: Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations , Oliver Twist
Jeffrey Archers’ As the Crow Flies, Honor Among Thieves, Sons of Fortune.
George Orwell’s Animal Farm
Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers
Peter Wright’s Spycatcher
To my amazement and delight I picked up more meaning and depth from each book and understood the stories better.
As I write articles to post on this blog, I read widely about each topic since I am writing to inform, educate and entertain the readers. The more I read, the easier it becomes for me to bring out the good and ugly about anything. Reading opens my mind to other people’s view and opinions and this helps me to understand the world better. It also stretches my imagination which in itself helps me find the significance and beauty in my life. Once my imagination is let loose then I can be more creative in my writing and my capacity to create stories in dreams and fantasies in enhanced. I keep learning new things then I change and grow. Reading makes my writing better, more detailed and more lifelike.
Joseph Harold Bunting advises a writer to learn about anything without becoming an expert. He is of the view that once you become an expert, you can no longer learn anything new and once you stop leaning anything new, you become stale and uninspired. By sheer coincidence ,the theme for my blog is : Learning is a Lifetime job.
This same author believes that a writer never stops learning how to write.
The books I read influence my style of writing so if I read great books by great artists then my writing would get better over time.
In this respect, he quotes T.S Eliot, the great modernist poet: “Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make into something better or at least something different.’’
It is normal to steal ideas from great artists. This is step number six on his list.
He also advises me to build my own community of people who inspire me and some of these should be writers for no one becomes a writer on their own. Creating great art requires maturity, skill and wisdom.
As a writer continues to read and write, he/she has to be a keen observer of her/his surroundings to draw attention to the injustice, evil and deaths and good things around.
The pain, loss and suffering in our own lives and in the lives of those around us shapes our lives and influences the stories we write.
The author Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten, even so, they have made me.’’
And author Madeleine L’ Engle said: “A book too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.”
Let us keep reading and writing to grow and develop at a deeper level. After all, learning is a lifetime job.
Thank you for reading this post. I would be extremely grateful if you left a comment about how reading, reading and writing have transformed your life.