Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Monday, April 23, 2018

"T" is for Tenacity

Today is World Book Day, perhaps begun to honor Shakespeare who died on April 23, 1616, and to promote the love of reading books. 

I don't remember when I first started reading, but I have always loved books. When I was a teen, I used to browse through the library, picking the books that were the biggest to take home (they'd last longer). All the classics. Hemingway's For Whom the Bells Toll was the first book that made me cry in public. Celebrating and exploring books hasn't changed much. DH and I still spend far too long at libraries and in used book stores. Our five-year-old granddaughter is beginning to read, and the three-and-a-half-year-old studies books as if she could translate pictures and words into stories.

Thinking about becoming a writer has been a life-long aspiration that truly began when I retired. Intimidated, yet excited, unable to say quite yet that 'I'm a writer,' I persevered through short stories, rough drafts to that first novel. Gunter Grass said he made a mistake in writing his first novel. "All the characters I had introduced were dead at the end of the first chapter. I couldn’t go on! This was my first lesson in writing: be careful with your characters."
As I begin my 4th or 7th book (depending on whether I count nonfiction, poetry, or travel books), I'm remembering advice from many writers (and writing magazines like The Writer and The Writer's Digest):

Write every day.
Study the craft of writing.
Study other writers.
Keep learning.
Write what you fear to write.

Each day, I start with the computer and new files. This week, I'm working on character sketches, keeping the words of Gunter Grass, Natalie Goldberg, and Stephen King close.

And so we writers persevere. Maybe our progress today is not quite what we'd like, but we are inspired by the very act of writing to see more clearly, to dig deeper into meaning, and, hopefully, to tell stories that connect with readers.

May you have a good week -- reading, writing, and celebrating World Book Day!

Some folks are sharing photos of bookshelves in honor of World Book Day. Here's one of my books in the English Library in Merida, Mexico. I wonder if someone is reading it now!

More about World Book Day: 

And more about April's A-Z Blogging Challenge 

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