My literary tour, Around the World in 80 Books, has seen the light of day. I cracked open the cover to the introduction and right away there was a reference that I’m adding to my list. David Damrosch said he fell into another world as he read, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. The landscapes of 18th century England came alive according to him, and the best part is that the book that broke the rules of novel writing.
If this is David’s approach to a book tour of books, then I’m in. The introduction didn’t make me wait. He started with a piece that hooked him when he was in his teens and lead him on this journey of books. The fictional piece by Laurence Sterne, sparked a hunger for words, and new worlds. The main characters inside the pages became his guide, and now he is my guide to travel through his favorites to find my own.
I’ve turned the pages of classics in school, came of age with historical romance, thought I would write series of spy novels, and then just wanted to write something beautiful, simple, and pure. But capturing the heart of humanity and the heart of a writer takes growth. Creating human depth in a novel sounds easy but eludes the best of us. I could push out less complicated pieces only of pure romance, and I have but I crave more as a writer.
Don’t we all struggle with the one book that breathes fresh air into the literary world? I do. Maybe that’s the reason I started this year with a literary book tour. I want more for my writing and more for my mind. My fellow authors, I know you’re out there and my ears are itching to hear your words. I want to have that feeling of looking up from the page with smile on my face and a small breath because I discovered you.
Those are the thoughts I need to remember when I’m editing other writer’s books. The pages I hold in my hands are their breath. A smile for someone else because they shared in an experience. A spark that leads to discovery and something new. Take care with your words writers because people we don’t know are depending on them. Remember you’re importance. Challenge yourself and try adding a layer to your novels. Let in a little heart if you write dark tales. Complicate something simple if you just pump out steamy romance.
No matter what genre you write, try growing as a writer. If you need a place to start, then start getting to know yourself this year through a guide, like David Damrosch.
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