On Reading and Writing: Quotable Posts

underlining while reading

A host of posts worth bookmarking.

On Reading

It’s Short Story Month at Fiction Writers Review. Here’s a bit of what you can look forward to if you stop by their blog:

There’s more to watch for at FWR during May, like interviews and short story collection giveaways. I’ll be running my own interview and giveaway in a few weeks, when Erika Dreifus stops by the blog to discuss her book of stories, Quiet Americans.

Siobhan Fallon reflects on author readings and the book tour, the thrill and the hardship:

…[T]ouring can be as difficult as it is wonderful. Wonderful, because, c’mon, the ‘book tour’ is every author’s dream…to have your book taken seriously enough that your publisher is actually sending you out in the world to talk about your written words. . . . Also difficult because writers are usually a shy bunch of people…. It is scary as all hell to get up in front of strangers and try to charm them for a half hour.

To authors who brave the mic, I say Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You pave the way for those writers who follow in your footsteps. you enrich the experience of readers as you give voice to the printed word, and you inspire those in the audience to run home and put pen to paper.

On Writing

Cathy Day shares an “end of the semester” lecture online, addressing the ever-present question in students’ minds: Am I a Writer?

You don’t “become” a writer because of a particular degree or a particular kind of job…. Nobody—no degree-granting institution, no teacher, no editor, no association—grants you the status of writer. You don’t need anyone’s permission to be a writer. You have to give yourself permission. It’s an almost completely internal “switch” that you have to turn on and (this is harder) keep on. . . .

Convincing yourself each day to keep going, this means that you are a writer.

There’s so much more in this post worth reading and considering, like what we mean – exactly – when we say we “just want to be published”.

Lisa Romeo talks about the Aha moment in writing and suggests that we stop waiting for it:

In my experience – and I’m talking here in broad terms that include motherhood, writing, marriage, career, relationships – the aha moments come in two general forms. Either they hit me like all at once at an unexpected and always later time: in the shower hours after the marathon work session, while awaking the morning after an argument, during the long drive home from the much-anticipated event… . . . . Or else they creep along, small and quiet at first, and then build speed and grow in size and shape until one day I realize (with very little fanfare) that some new angle, method, mindset, approach, skill or proficiency has worked its way into my usual routine. . . .

Corner-turning, breakthroughs, aha moments have their own agenda, and it’s not yours. Relax. Stop waiting. Your job now is to take it all in, to read, to study, to try, to experiment, to think.

This post hits the mark for me; I am always looking for the burning bush to urge me on, instead of (simply) relying on my own sheer will to write.

What posts would you quote this week?


About Christi

Christi Craig is a native Texan living in Wisconsin, working by day as a sign language interpreter and moonlighting as a writer, teacher, and editor. Her stories and essays have appeared online and in print, and she received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train's Family Matters Contest, 2010. You can send comments or questions via her contact page.
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6 Responses to On Reading and Writing: Quotable Posts

  1. What a great collection of advice/ideas. And I’m so honored to be have our Q&A coming up. Thank you!

  2. Christi Christi says:

    I can’t wait to host you, Erika!

  3. Christi, sorry for the late response, but you know that stuff happens. Ah, the quotable posts. One of my favorite these days is quoted often and by many. This agent’s perception of what is happening in our industry, her take on the craft of writing and how to survive the life, never ceases to amaze me. I give you a quotable post from Rachelle Gardner … Don’t Miss the Good Stuff … and on how good this job can get. Enjoy 🙂


    • Christi Christi says:

      I’m always happy to see you here, whenever you have a chance to stop by. What a great post, too. Rachelle Gardner always offers such great reminders for writers.


  4. Nina says:

    You have to read Cathy Day’s newest post! It’s so fascinating to see what young writers are writing about.

    • Christi Christi says:

      I read it the other day and just read it again. That is a great post. I love the reasons she gives as to why students hesitate to identify themselves as writers of literary fiction. I also love the Bechdel Test video. Definitely a post to bookmark!

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