Saturday, August 8, 2015

Gleaning

The last several months, I made a commitment to read more. I, like many people, I suspect, have a tall stack of "to be read" books, ever beckoning. Additionally, I determined a year ago or more that I would not crack open a new book until I had finished reading my current one. (Little did I know how hard keeping that bargain was going to be! I had at least six different books underway, yet had not finished reading any of them.)

It's either "feast" or "famine" with me and books. I'm either reading all the time, or I'm writing all the time. I struggle to find the balance. Currently, though, I've done well with keeping it equitable. Reading is a good reprieve from my ongoing writing commitments. And while it hasn't been writing focused on my children's books manuscripts, it's where I believe the Lord has me right now. I had my own ideas (and preferences) of what I wanted to be writing, but I also know well enough that there are seasons to everything. And right now, this is the season to write for others, to write a different genre.

I prefer reading for pleasure, but I'm striving to read more on honing this craft of writing. I have yet to finish Ann Whitford Paul's book Writing Picture Books. (One of the six I had going at once!) A writing tip I recently read suggested following a reading schedule. I haven't implemented it, but I may for books like this where it's not exactly "play." Especially with the impending return of school and schedules, I think it could be quite effective.

I'm thankful for the plethora of writing resources, even though at times it can be overwhelming. I often have to repeat my mantra of "One bite at a time" and "Take what you like and leave the rest." Ultimately, I need to remember the reasons why I write and stay true to them. I need to examine my motives frequently, but not let fear rule. My writing friend Kimberly Henderson says it well with this post. I am tremendously blessed to have met such incredible writing friends from whom I can glean much information, encouragement, and skill.