Do as I Say, Not as I Do

When people ask how they can improve their writing I always tell them to write a lot and read a lot. It’s sensible advice and is often given by writers (it’s certainly one of the things I remember being told when I was starting out). And I believe in it.

It’s frustrating then when I can’t practice what I preach. I have piles and piles of books I desperately want to read but I just don’t have the time when I’m writing (that and the fact that some are so well written and have such distinctive voices that I’ve been avoiding reading them until I get to a point when I’m not writing because I worry that what I’m writing will end up sounding like I’m trying to sound like whatever it is I’m reading). I should be better at dealing with this but I’m not. I’m certainly getting better. And I hope to continue my getting better by reading Alis by Naomi Rich, which I received this morning, complete with a very nice note inside it from the very nice author.
As a funny aside, I’m handing out awards later this week to children who’ve completed the Summer Reading Challenge (read six books over the summer hols). I would not be getting such an award. I think I read four (unless it includes non fiction for research…).
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And on a much happier note I was thrilled to read Anne Brooke’s review of my writing group’s collection of short stories and poems.
Here’s what she said:
“This is a lovely and very readable collection of short stories and poems, which has been edited by our very own Nik Perring. And it also includes some of his work, so definitely worth a read for that alone!However, I also particularly enjoyed work by Karen Crook and Sandy Milsom, especially the darker pieces. And special mention must go to “A Dog’s Life” by Gay Horton. There’s a tale with bite, for sure …
My collection favourite (I always pick one!) just has to be Karen Crook’s “Borrowed Time” (sorry, Nik – your little green man just missed out …!). I for one would definitely be keen to read more about Henry’s ghostly adventures in Hadley Great Hall.Of course, other people will have other preferences, but I would recommend this collection. There’s something for everyone and the cover’s great too.”

So, a big WELL DONE to all involved I think. And, of course, a big thanks to Anne. Thrilled you liked it.
(I should mention too that there are a few of Anne’s books sitting on the really want to read pile. Sigh.)
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