Reading Like a Writer

Hej Hej,

So I’m sorry about not posting recently, I’m currently on holiday and despite the changeable weather, we have still managed to fill our days so I’ve been away from my laptop. I have managed to read though: I finished my first American Classic – Native Son by Richard Wright and am on to my second – The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Reading is something that is very important to me. I learn so much about writing by reading how others write and it’s something that every aspiring writer should do.
Read everything and anything [including this blog], don’t just stick to the same genre you are writing: read other stuff too. If you’re writing a sci-fi then read a classic, read a horror or even better read a classic sci-fi ie. H. G. Well’s War of the Worlds. Don’t just read to say you read, read with the intention of learning. Take note of how the author explores and presents themes or the way they use literary devices. All of this will aid you in your own writing.
I have decided to take things a step further. So since I’ve been reading old classics I thought I’d give some classic children’s books ago. Not only that but a book in Swedish (which I have been teaching myself). I ordered the book online originally called Kometen Kommer which translates to The Comet is Coming and was published in English under the name Comet in Moominland which may be a bit more recognisable to you as the famous Moomin series. It’s written and illustrated by the Swedish-speaking Finn Tove Jansson and it’s a great book. It’s really interesting to see the difference between Swedish and English literature (they don’t use speech marks for one thing).
Anyway there’s something for you to think about. What sort of stuff is on you’re reading list? Are there any foreign books you’re considering? I’d love to know.

Hej då!

 

The Walker

My boots made a soft sound on the earth as I trudged through the long grass of the field. I could just see my dog a few feet in front sniffing around in the undergrowth. It was dark and there was no moon up ahead in the overcast sky. My eyes were adjusting and I could make out on the horizon the top of the hill which arched and joined the shadowed border of trees on the far side of the field. It was quiet but not silent. Crickets chirped, the branches creaked as the wind blew through the rustling leaves and out into the vast expanse of space above.
I tilted my head back and inhaled a deep breath, my chest inflated. Then I exhaled through pursed lips and with it came all the bad feeling that had accumulated since my last walk. I felt eternal. I carried on up the hill, looking out across the grid that was many other fields and woodlands, stretching out forever. There was a glow of artificial, orange light coming from the town that polluted the sky, rising up and illuminating the dense cloud cover. The wind turbine in the distance was silhouetted in this glow, making it appear even more imposing. I looked around and noticed more of these patches of light that bled into the sky, orange at first, then purple and finally blue as it faded into the sky.
When I got to the top I stood there and took in my surroundings. The dog was scuffling around in the bracken of the dead wood pile and I could see an old cider can glinting through leaves. I was reminded of my after-prom party, having all those people over to celebrate the end of school – thirty five in all. We had ventured out of the garden in seek of a thrill. I then thought back further to my first house party; my sixteenth and the small group of friends who I’d surround myself with. I realised that it wasn’t I who was eternal, it was the memories and the nostalgia didn’t make me feel so good about myself anymore. It only hurt.
I carried on walking, this time through the crops of the field that bordered this one. The plants stood up to my shoulders. I found a tractor track that cut through the field like a scar, the plants that grew here were dark and wilted. It wound through the earth like a snake. Following it, I watched as the dog trotted in and out of the crops on either side of the track. I walked around the corner and the track ended at the entrance of a field contained on all sides by towering trees. I would have to make my own way from here.
I looked out over the contours of the land that expanded out to the edge where the sky met the earth. There were clusters of trees, and little ditches were rivers flowed. That was where I wanted to be. I continued on…

 

 

 

*Title still in transit*

Today has been quite draining, draining but productive nonetheless. Sadly I haven’t gotten around to writing any more of my book but that’s okay though because I tend to write better in the evenings anyway. Hopefully, I’ll make some headway with Chapter Two tonight but if not then there is tomorrow. I’ll count this post as today’s writing, a bit cheeky I know but hey, you won’t believe how time-consuming planning an Art History Essay is!

Yup, that’s what I’ve been up to today. I started the morning with my favourite – fried tomatoes and grilled avocado on toast with a poached egg *drools ever so slightly* – and then sat down in the dining room with the above textbooks and got stuck in. My aim was to find a selection of artist from different movements and take notes on how social features influenced them. It was harder than I thought and what made matters worse was the book I believed would be the best resource turned out to be very unhelpful and unlogical which coincides with my opinions of The V&A Museum (another resource I tried to use for another Art assignment). I had hoped that I would have been able to make a start on the draft of the essay but as it happens I only managed to cover Pre-Raphaelite to Constructivism with Dada and Pop Art still to go. Yet another task for tomorrow I guess.

img_2396

So as you can see quite a bit to go. Oh and by the way, that page isn’t all I produced. Those textbooks are packed with post-it-notes just waiting for me to refer back to and I’ve left open a tonne of tabs on my laptop referring to other useful sources.

So now you know that as well as writing, I do a little art on the side or vice versa perhaps. Are there other hobbies/topics that interest you apart from writing? I’d love to know.

Now, I’ve gotta go and help my friend try and find a ticket for Reading Festival because all the weekend tickets are gone…

Cheers.