What I Read Before Writing

I have a ritual that helps me transition my mindset from mundane mode to writer mode.

On the floor, right beside my magic writing chair, is a book on the craft of writing.  Before turning to the day’s work, I take five minutes and read a chapter.  The book can be about any aspect of writing: genre specifics, grammar, plotting, etc.  My only prerequisite is that the book has to be inspiring.  It has to make me yearn to start.  Again.

I’m currently reading THE LIE THAT TELLS A TRUTH: A GUIDE TO WRITING FICTION by John Dufresne.  It doesn’t matter that I’ve read it before.  The really good stuff is always motivating.  It always shines new light.

In the introduction Dufresne states, “What this book aims to do is get you back into the fun of making things up.”  He does that.  And more.  Each time I set this book aside to begin my own work, I do so with a shake of my head.  In awe.  Dufresne’s writing is brilliant.  Reading it makes me long to write better.

And that fits my yearn-to-begin criteria perfectly.