Slice Of Life Story Challenge March 18 - Writing Under The Influence
Writing What You Read
I am acutely aware what I read influences what I write. With that thought at the front of my thoughts today, I find myself reflecting on my summer reading.
It just so happens that during the summer I was fortunate enough to receive two poetry books as gifts and managed to find three more, I purchased myself. All in all it was a rather eclectic collection of poems, to say the least. That fact just added to the appeal.
The books were as follows:
Book of Longing, Leonard Cohen
Forever Words, Johny Cash
Jelly boots, Smelly Boots, Michael Rosen
The Everyday Poet, Edited by Deborah Alma
How To Write Poetry, Michael Rosen
Exposure to these books means poetry has been right up front in my thinking when I consider potential writing ideas. My current writer's notebook reflects this strong influence.
American poet, Ted Kooser said,‘You should read at least one hundred poems before you write one.’ Kooser’s words are essentially about immersion. So, having spent the summer immersed in the reading of poetry, it is therefore not surprising to note my notebook is filling with lots of poetry. Even more than usual, i must admit.
This speaks volumes about the influence our reading has on our writing.
For quite some time now I have been encouraging teachers to nudge student writers to choose books that will influence the writing they have indicated they wish to do. If a young writers wishes to write memoir, it stands to reason that they are also reading memoir. Want to write poetry? - read lots of poetry. The reader must open up to possibility and hold themselves open to such influences.
Historically, a disconnect has existed in schools between what students are reading and what they are actually trying to write. In order for any literary genre to influence a writer, it must be in the frame of reference. It must stand front and centre.
I therefore encourage young readers to consciously choose two books when considering their needs as readers. Choose one for purely recreational and interest needs, and choose a second book to inform the type of writing they wish to do right now. This way we may succeed in narrowing the gap between intention and action. That's the plan.
|Notebook Poetry Example 1|
|Notebook Poetry Example 2|