Welcome to all the new readers! Just a little note before we start…
I’ve noticed some of the Substack newsletters I’ve signed up to are ending up in my spam folder. I’d hate for you to miss a newsletter. If you want to keep in touch (and stay mates as we say here in New Zealand) remember to drag this email into your primary folder or mark as “Not Spam”. Thanks!
Now onto today’s topic: my birthday—well, that’s not really the topic but let’s start there anyway…
For my birthday this week (on the 1st of November) I treated myself to a new memoir: “Group” by Christie Tate. Some of you will remember my interview back in August with Christie.
Group just came out at the end of October and, exciting news, has been selected as the book of the month for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club.
One day I hope it’s your book I’m writing this about!
Part of becoming better writers—book club worthy writers—is reading quality work. When we read quality, we set our own writing standards higher. It’s the quickest, cheapest way to improve our writing.
If you never take the time to read you’re short changing yourself. Reading is our professional development. It’s our training ground. That’s why I pack quality readings into my Creative Writing Academy lessons. As an ex-teacher, I know the power of quality examples.
The Key To Quality Writing
I wrote about this in an article once. Here’s the intro:
Humans are very adaptable. That we can adapt to almost any environment and make it our “normal” is one of our best survival strategies.
Here in New Zealand, for example, there’s a stunningly beautiful town called Rotorua. It’s one of our best tourists spots, except for one thing — it smells like rotten eggs. Luckily, due to the human ability to adapt, the people who live in Rotorua think it smells fine. They’ve learnt to live with it and the rotten egg aroma has become “normal” to them.
The lesson: Sniff enough crap and you start to think it smells good.
It’s the same for us writers. What we read is what our brains start to think of as “good writing.” It becomes our normal. If you read quality writing you’re more likely to produce quality writing! (If you only ever read writing that stinks? Well…you can guess.)
Tip for today: To write quality, take time to read quality!
Here’s the link if you want to check out Christie’s memoir. (I’m not an affiliate—just excited to share her book). You can buy it other places too.
See you next week!