Sunday, February 27, 2011

Too Much Information

I sometimes fall victim to the lastest book on writing, hoping to find that one chestnut that will make the light bulb go on above my head. There are books on technique, dialogue, plot, characterization, etc. But, when is enough enough?

I have been weeding through my extensive library and realized, I have too many books. Yet, I love each and every one of them. I love the smell of a new book, the feel of holding a book in my hand, the sound of the pages, the thrill of adventure.

But, I can easily get lost, reading non-stop, while letting my unfinished works remain as such, unfinished. The profession of writing is a gentle, tenuous balancing act. Research aside, there comes a time when the books only serve as a distraction, an excuse not to write.

So, for the would be writers out there, take a look at your bookshelves. If you have three books on dialogue, you may have too many. Just reading about the art and craft of writing does not make you a writer, nor does it necessarily make you a better writer.

Some of the information may help you on your journey, but if you get wrapped up in reading, you may never put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, for fear of failure. I'm not saying to ignore books on the craft of writing - I love to read them and own more than my fair share. Just don't let the words deter you from striking out on your own path.

Each writer has his/her own style, own voice, own unique story to tell. And the only way it will get told, is if you actually write it.

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