Aug 31 2012
Comments Off on Writers Are What They Read

Writers Are What They Read

This is no new insight, but it does bear repeating:  if you aspire to write well, you must fill your mind with the very best writing.

Nutrition provides a good metaphor.  If you want to be healthy, you must eat well.  You must put into your body only the best food. If you want your mind and imagination to remain healthy, you must feed it with the best writing you can find.  This is especially true for writers living in the 21st century, because, let’s face it, we’re constantly bombarded with words that have been stripped of their aliveness.

I am going to recommend two novels that feed my imagination.  The first is a classic: the trilogy Kristen Lavransdatter by Nobel Prize-winner Sigrid Undset.  Even in translation, the language soars, carrying me along with it and inspiring me to write up to those heights.

The second is a contemporary work by the Australian writer Sue Woolfe.  It’s called Leaning Towards Infinity.  Woolfe’s experimental approach to point of view, her bold shifts in time and narration as well as her lyrical prose make this a stimulating banquet for any hungry writer.

What about you?  Please leave a comment telling us what book feeds your imagination and why.