First of all, apologies for not posting till today. You can blame the Chi-SCBWI lot* for that.
Last night at our meeting, the lovely and talented blogger Vivienne DaCosta of Serendipity Reviews** fame, brought us all a fruitboxful of books to delve into. It was an immediately appealing and diverse selection.
Clearly, we’re all bookaholics. I don’t quite see how I could be a writer without having this particular addiction.
- I’ve learnt so much more about the way to write for different age-groups.
- I’ve developed much more of a ‘nose’ for what works for a given genre.
- I’ve encountered techniques and structures I might never have thought of by myself.
- I’ve had my mind stretched like an octopus trying to get out of a bottle by reading far outside my zone of prejudice.
But it wasn’t just that which made us all scurry to select and snaffle – to stage a [fairly genteel] raid on a sweetie shop. Stories are treasure we can amass like a jackdaw does jewels – but they’re even more precious when they become part of us. It’s the ones that stay on in your mind, that feed your creativity that matter.
Our eagerness, I believe, stems from our search for the stories that will nourish us. In the way that our food literally becomes part of us, I believe the stories we truly engage with nurture our imaginations and build up our spirits.
So it’s well worth having a rummage to seek out stories that will feed us – and our writing. At times it might be something a bit romantic, luxurious and Nigella, other times we might need something more challenging and a bit Heston Blumenthal. Nothing wrong with a bit of traditional too.
And there’s always the happy thought we might just chance upon something new and wondrous. Or better still, pick a mixture.
* Chichester branch of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators – wonderful group of supportive people – who meet on certain Thursday nights
**fabulous book review site whose tolerant owner allows me to spout forth from time-to-time