Over the break I took some time off - the new draft is in, I'm playing around with ideas for the next book, but for the first time in ages I Read For Pleasure. Not MA course books ('World Postmodern Fiction', anyone?), not books to be reviewed, just what I felt like. In a roundabout way it reminded me about why I write. I want to give people the pleasure, the break from everyday life that these books gave me. I stormed through some old favourites from Anne Tyler and Michael Cunningham, plus new works by William Boyd, Sadie Jones, and a debut from Francesca Kay, (which inspired severe book envy, always a good sign :) I wallowed in a US publication 'A Cup of Comfort for Writers' that my sister had sent me, inscribed 'Never Give Up'.
So, everything else in life may be uncertain, but I arrived back at my desk raring to go. Then, there was a lovely surprise in the emails this weekend. Ages ago I wrote to Anne Tyler, my all-time literary hero, asking if she had any advice for writers like us juggling work and family life. Here it is:
"The only advice I can think of for writers with young children is, “Just hang on by your fingernails; this stage will not last forever.”" - Anne Tyler
I'm going to pin it over my desk, don't know about you?
TODAY'S PROMPT: The sidebar is gradually filling up with good news - some great new books being published by friends of this blog. Let's hope by the end of the year it will be a mile long. Luxuriating in reading for fun over the holiday got me thinking - we've talked about why we all write, but why do you read? Uncertain times like this have me reaching for old favourites in books and music, (good old Stevie Nicks in today's clip for example) - but also wanting new work, new tunes, new words. Today, instead of thinking about what you want to write why not have a think about what you want to read? Jot down the elements of your dream read - what do you want to curl up with on these snowy nights? How does this tally with what you're working on?