Halloween is over, Thanksgiving creeps ever closer and Nanowrimo has begun. Pages and word counts are climbing, and so far I’m feeling great about my new novel in progress.
Some of this excitement is because of the story itself. It’s a good one, I think. Some of it’s the positive peer pressure on social media. There’s something great to be said for a bunch of people working towards the same goal. Some of it as well is the energy of the season. I’m super pumped for the holidays and doing my best to put that creative energy to good use.
But I think we all know those incentives aren’t going to last. Seasonal excitement in particular is like a sugar high. It’s great while you have it, but eventually, you’re gonna crash.
Writing is my favorite thing to do, but it’s also exhausting. Especially when we get closer to the middle of a tale when I’m running low on ideas, and when the word counts are looming. Then, of course, we remember that it is the holiday season and I’m up to my eyeballs in crafts, cooking, and cleaning.
All good thing, but quite time-consuming.
When my energy starts to wain, when the work begins to feel like work, when I start thinking I’ll just take up stamp collecting after all, I need something more substantial to sustain me. And what I have are the words of authors who have gone before me. Writers who I admire and respect.
To that end, I made a reading list for myself for November. I might not get to all of them since I’ll be switching over to Christmas reads after Thanksgiving, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t run out of inspiration. Some of the books I’ve read before, some I haven’t. All are from authors who inspire me to do what we all love to do, write.
On Writing by Stephen King
It’s the first book on writing I ever read, and it’s still one of the best ones I’ve read. I don’t want to waste a lot of time here because I’ve already talked about this book so extensively. If you haven’t read it, and you want to be a writer, go read it now.
Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg
What can I say about this book that hasn’t already been said? So many writers credit this book with inspiring them that it’s impossible to count. I can’t help but feel inspired to write deeper work that goes right to the bone.
Gather Together in My Name by Maya Angelou
This book and the one after are autobiographies by the unparalleled Maya Angelou. They’re not writing advice books, but they inspire me nevertheless. Seeing how such an impactful author lived her life can’t help but make me want to be a better writer. And a better woman.
All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes by Maya Angelou
Ditto for this one.
So that’s it. It’s a pretty short post today because I know we’re all busy. But if you have a moment, I’d love to know what book inspires you most as a writer or artist. Let us know in the comments.
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