December 29/365 About Writing

I have a section of my library shelves that still contains all the books I’ve collected about the process of writing, of being a writer, of thinking like a writer. I marvel how little I consider taking a book off that shelf for a look. In a sense it’s the conscience of my book collection, my Jiminy Cricket. If I actually read the words contained in those books, then I’d become a keeper of them, responsible for them, and perhaps need to apply them to my life. So, could I just make them go away in the next clean-sweep before the library book sale? What!? Do without the collected wisdom of Eudora Welty, William Gass, Stephen King, Gwendolyn Brooks, Christopher Isherwood, John Gardner, and E. B. White? I may not dare to open their books these days, but the writers on this shelf inform my idea of who I am as clearly as my family’s genealogy.

I do dust them, as regularly as any other book.

Today, just because I need something to write here, I open Brook’s Young Poet’s Primer, a 15-page tome that is thinner than a Broadway showbill. The text is a list, a starting off point for discussion and instruction about things every beginning writer needs to know.

“1: Use fresh language.”

What a mouthful that idea actually is, Ms. Brooks.

3 thoughts on “December 29/365 About Writing

  1. I have several of those books on writing (plus a couple different ones). I need to read Gardner’s. My mom bought it for me but gave it to my daughter because Mom knew I’d never write. She was right, but I stole the book back from my daughter.

    Liked by 2 people

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