“Writer’s Digest is the bible for freelance fiction and non-fiction writers, who seek to get published. Each issue contains useful, pertinent tips on writing queries, writers’ rights and new markets. In addition, this perennially popular guide – established in 1920 – offers how-to advice – how to write a better article, how to become more efficient and productive, and how to writer more compelling leads.” – www.writersdigest.com
Not everyone has the time to read an entire craft book. You might be able to start it now, but how long will it take you to finish it? Though it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to read it (you’re still learning some great information), it can be discouraging to only have time for 1-2 pages a day (or week). As a writer our momentum and motivation is key, and something as discouraging as reading one craft book a year can really dampen the spirit. Don’t let it! A lot of writers (this one included) have much smaller writing goals that other authors. I can’t do 1000 words a day. I can’t even do 500 words a day right now. I have smaller, manageable goals. When I meet those goals I’m encouraged to keep going.
Why should reading be any different?
That’s where Writer’s Digest comes in. With a different topic every month, WD provides fresh articles throughout the year. Read as much as you can whenever you have the time. Even if you don’t get to the July edition until October, the material will still be relevant (except for the section about upcoming conferences – those might expire). In addition to the interviews and monthly theme the back of each issue features excerpts from craft books on a particular topic (i.e. POV or characterization) written by the experts (e.g. James Scott Bell and Hallie Ephron).
Regardless of what you read, you don’t have to read more than 2-5 pages to complete a piece. Even a time-starved writer can find a few private minutes to finish an article. That sense of accomplishment is enough to keep the creative embers glowing until you have the time to devote to an entire book.
A definite must-have for any writer
Tea for Two by Trish Perry. A follow-up to The Perfect Blend, this book takes place in the same small Virgina town with a new romance. If this had been the first Perry book I read it would have hit the spot, but I think it falls short of the first book (as well as some of her others). I missed seeing the other townspeople and felt like the characters were a bit awkward, but not a bad overall read. **1/2
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. I genuinely enjoyed the story (Marion & Genet remind me of Forrest Gump and Jenny), but I couldn’t stand the writing style. Rambling and too detailed in some areas (three page description of a vasectomy). You could easily cut 200 pages without missing the point of the story. Overall a descent read. **1/2