Face Your Fear Friday – Episode 3

Welcome back to Face Your Fear Friday. This week’s entry will be short and sweet as real life offline is getting cramped for time. 

Every Friday, as we slide into the weekend, I issue a challenge that even the more frazzled writers can at least identify with, if not execute.
This week’s challenge is simple. Again, I repeat for your multitasking parents/writers, 


Just answer the following two questions-

1. What’s one aspect of the writer’s craft that you’ve yet to master, and are working towards this year?
For me, it’s being able to rediscover the joy of writing, without the pain of drafting and rewrites make me a neurotic pessimist, which I’m really not at my core, though lately I have to hit rock bottom to realize that.

2. Name one book that normally is not your thing, yet read it anyway, but liked?(NOTE: What you were FORCED to read in school doesn’t count, that’s a unique pressure few of us want to relive)

For me, it’s “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield. Well, I actually listened to the audiobook, but it’s a top notch production in its own right, and for writers who know me well, this was the ONLY way I’d experience this book the first go round, and  I want to experience again, this time on the page, but like my writer friend Kelly told me recently on her blog, “Books are books, no matter what the medium.”

I agree with this, if only in part to ease my own guilt, but as craft books and experienced writers will tell you often, there are times when reading on the page, opposed to listening to the audiobook or even the e-book isn’t the same.

Writers say all the time they notice things in print they don’t on computer screens when they edit books, so doesn’t the same apply to reading books, too? But truth be told, if not for audiobooks, I’d have enjoyed few stories in the last three years.

I personally need to combat this problem, because for me it is a problem, not all the books I want to read are available in audio form, and I do have a restrictive feel when I read books on the page, because trying to mime craft from it is not a particularly helpful, never mind joyous experience. A feeling that wasn’t always there.

 Craft books aside, I read for escape and solace, and I don’t find picking authors apart all that entertaining, and that mindset has ruined the reading experience for me, at least at this point and time. I’m trying not to be so absolute in my thinking, since some struggles do improve and lessen with time.

If you grapple with this literary tug of war as I do, please share in the comments below, if you’re the only one among your posse of writer friends who has this problem, I URGE you to comment below, because I’m there with  you, I really get it because I’m there myself, know you’re not alone.

You have until April 27th, 2012 before comments are closed. Thanks to all who commented in last week’s challenge, and I hope comments increase this week.

UPDATE (4/27/12): Commenting Closed.

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  • I have to master the dreaded query letter. I think that’s the biggest barrier for me to hurdle. I don’t know why but they FREAK ME OUT!

    I didn’t use to think I was a dystopian fan, but after hearing the hullabaloo about the Hunger Games, I picked up the first book at the library and I have to admit, Suzanne Collins really nailed the storytelling. I couldn’t stop reading, and while I’m not a huge FAN of the books, I did enjoy them and think they were brilliantly written.

    (Of course, now I want to read Divergent, by Veronica Roth.) :)

  • 1) Writing settings in a way that doesn’t bore young readers. I can get pretty descriptive when it comes to Settings, and I worry MG readers might not have the patience for it.

    2) I’m reading a book of poetry: Mahmoud Darwish’s ‘If I Were Another.’ I am intimidated by poetry, but I love his imagery. Each line makes up such a wistful/sorrowful/whimsical/honest picture in my head … but, when the lines are put together, I have no earthly idea what the poet is conveying! His poems are too smart for me. But I just can’t bear to return that library book without finishing it. Even if I can’t understand his ideas, I can still enjoy his language. It’s bizarre!

  • I haven’t mastured going through my new publishers guide yet this year and made changes to my old list. I hate doing that because it’s so time consuming!

    Normally paranormal books aren’t my thing but have read a few this year from author friends and am finding I’m really enjoying them!

  • Thanks to all who shared their suggestions. It really means a lot and will help the blog stay relevant. I’ll get to them all in the coming weeks.