Saturday, June 9, 2007

Do You Read Writing Books?

My local library is having its annual book sale this spring and I have a number of writing books in my car ready to donate.

It seems almost a sacrilege - getting rid of books that pertain to my profession. I feel like I should hang on to all of them, just in case one gleam of insight can help down the road. But I like to weed things out.

I accomplish more when I don't spend too much time reading writing books. It's easy to get bogged down in reading about what you want to be doing instead of actually doing it.

So, my apologies to the authors. Peter Bowerman's books The Well-Fed Writer and The Well-Fed Writer Back for Seconds are being donated because they don't suit my needs or style. What If: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers by Anne Bernays is going, too. It's a wonderful book, really, but I've since discovered that I'm a nonfiction writer at heart.

I feel guilty. But at the same time, it's exciting to think about another writer attending this sale, finding these books, and making the most of them. And, I'm pleased to think that I'm finally narrowing down my writing focus, something that took a long time, maybe too long, to develop.

How about you? How many writing books are on your shelves? And how often do you go back to them?