“Among the many worlds that man did not receive as a gift from nature but created out of his own mind, the world of books is the greatest… Without the word, without the writing of books, there is no history, there is no concept of humanity. And if anyone wants to try to enclose in a small space, in a single house or a single room, the history of the human spirit and to make it his own, he can only do this in the form of a collection of books.” – Herman Hesse
It stands to reason that if you’re a writer you’re a reader. Right?
One would think so. On the other hand, I recently saw a quote from a famous writer/person (I think it was Einstein, but that seems unlikely as I write this) who stated: Eventually, a writer needs to quit reading and just write. That’s a paraphrase.
- If you’re a fiction writer who hasn’t the foggiest notion of recent Pulitzer prize winning fiction . . .
- If you’re a children’s writer who has a clue about recent Caldecott books . . .
- If you’re a biologist who doesn’t read science journals . . .
- If you’re a politician who doesn’t read white papers . . .
What, exactly, does that say about you?
I suppose if you’re already read everything important that (you think) has ever been written, and all that’s left to do is to churn out an e-book a month . . . . There really is nothing left for you to read. Go for it.
I’m actually appalled that the perfectly good NaNoWriMo trend has been recast as an obsessive occupation: If you do it in the month of November you should do it every month.
No one loves a blabbermouth.
Mona L S Baisch
PS I prefer the Stephen King quote: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
I ran on to a quote that hasn’t left my mind since I read it a few days ago.
In art as in politics, well-meant, noble-sounding errors can devalue the world. – John Gardner from On Moral Fiction
He goes on to explain, at some length, that creative efforts that work to tear-down, no matter how wildly they are lauded by the public – whatever the audience (film, music, literature, sculpture, painting), is not really art. Art, by definition, uplifts.
I thought I’d let that wander through some other minds besides my own. Download at least the free chapter from your Kindle bookstore: ON MORAL FICTION.