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Friday, October 13, 2006

 

The Power of Variety, Learning and Detail

If you’ve been with us for our September and October issues, you know we have had two authors that have beautifully written, albeit—quite humorously, at times, memoirs. They would be Maralys Wills, A Circus without Elephants, and Diana Abu-Jaber, The Language of Baklava.

There’s a book, On Writing Well, by William Zinseer, that I have been referring back to for quite a while. Chapter 14 is Writing About Yourself and there were a few things that stuck out in my mind. One thing is if you are a connoisseur of memoirs, like Mr. Zinseer, you won’t want to miss his partial list of favorites on page 135.

Mr. Zinseer discloses the art of detail as one secret in writing your memoir well. That chapter confirmed the true excellence found in the aforementioned memoirs.

As I continued reading, I felt a longing to start putting some things on paper, or in the computer, that I had previously felt I could never give _expression to. How interesting, that the power of learning some ins and outs of a particular genre can ignite creativity, previously suppressed or ignored. All this meditation brought to mind an interview I did this month.

Mary Rosemblum’s article echoes the sentiments of almost all the authors we’ve interviewed in the sense that she attributes her continued growth as an author to reading...reading...reading...
Her answer to the question of how important writing is to a writer, "Critical! You need to stretch, grow as a writer. Read things that you wouldn't ordinarily read. Read things that are outside your 'universe'. The more you broaden your mind, think about things, and see other viewpoints; the more you will bring to your writing, no matter what you do.”

Variety, the power of variety, the power of learning, the power of detail...it’s creating a desire within me to stretch, to be brave—like Maralys Wills and Diana Abu-Jaber—and write from the heart while engaging the brain, utilizing all these wonderful things I’m learning...won’t you join me?

Take care,

Beryl

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