Tips on Tuesday: You Two Need to Break Up!

Easy as A, B, C . . . from BB

anncannonAnn Cannon, who writes for the Salt Lake Tribune, writes books, works at The King’s English Bookshop, and leads interesting workshops from time to time at the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers (WIFYR) Writing Conference, had an excellent tip today (Monday, 6/16) in her afternoon session.

Her topic was “Reading Like a Writer: Learn to Hone Your Skills While Reading Works by Other Authors. She suggested “dating” a book for a short time — give it 30 pages. Then, if you’re not liking it, tell it “good-bye” totally without guilt!

Sometimes in the past I’d start reading a book and realize I didn’t care for it. But I had somehow drilled into my head that what I started must be finished. So, I couldn’t just read a different book. I’d dip back in to the undesirable tome, get disgusted with myself and it, put it on hold again . . . and sometimes go for weeks at a time not reading, because I hadn’t finished the one I was stuck in!

I’ve been waiting years for someone to give me that permission to cut my losses.

But Ann further suggested that then we study the why’s and wherefore’s after we abandon some book: Why did it not appeal to me? And did I ever make these same mistakes in my own writing? Wise suggestions. This way, when we “break up” with a book, we will stlll have learned something from the experience.

Thanks, Ann ! ! ! I’m free to read the next one, and the next . . . and the next . . . and . . .

See you next for Thinkin’ on Thursday!


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