We’re often told that to be a better writer we should read. We should read, read, and read some more. We’re also told we should write every day. I’ve recently read several articles explaining how to find the time to write–for even a mere thirty minutes per day. As a student of online education, I read and write nearly every day. However, that is for academics. Does that matter? I don’t think it does. I think any type of reading or writing is beneficial in some way. I’m reading and paying attention to what experienced writers recommend to amateur writers like myself. Are they the masters? What do you consider a master in the craft of writing? I suppose anyone who has been writing for years and has several big works published could be regarded as a master at their profession. Or, is any writer who inspires you and gets your attention considered a master?
Since starting on my journey toward my Bachelors in English and Creative Writing, I’ve seen a change in my behavior. I see my surroundings differently too. I have books that are strewn out all over my room and work space. Why? Because I am mimicking the masters. I want to know how they write what they write. Why does it interest me? My reading material is varied. I read fantasy, horror, mystery, and yes, even romance if it has a good mystery to it. I even read and re-read my textbooks when I feel the need to do so. I read poetry, flash fiction, short stories, trilogies, blogs, etc. I could probably list two or three pages of authors or writers that I feel are masters. For the sake of this blog, I’ll list what I am currently using to inspire me as I re-work and edit one of my own short stories. Each one of these works has an appeal to me that makes me take notice of my writing technique and style. I’m learning from each these works which include Dark Rain by Tony Richards, Eragon by Christopher Paolini, “Seeing” from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard, Helping by Robert Stone, and Death Comes for the Microbot by Aimee Picchi.
I have a bookshelf full of books waiting for my eyes and my imagination. I also have the world outside and inside that is waiting to be used as inspiration. So in reading the masters and mimicking them, I will mingle our thoughts and create a conversation of master and amateur–creating new worlds for readers to explore. Hopefully, one day, they’ll see me as a master.