Sunday, September 18, 2011

Trying to do the "HARD" writing.

I work in a high school library. Last week, one of the students -- I think he's a junior -- brought back a book he'd checked out the day before. When someone brings back a book the next day, they either loved it and read it deep into the wee hours of the night, or they couldn't stand it, it didn't work for them, they read a bit and put it down. One of my colleagues asked this particular student which it was. All night reading, or not for him?

He smiled.

"Definitely an all-nighter," he said. "It was easy reading. Hard writing is easy reading. Hard reading means easy writing." He dashed off to find another volume to consume.

I just stared at him as he walked away. Wow. Either that kid pulled that comment out of his you-know-where, he heard that from somebody else, or he really has it figured out. Maybe it's a combo of the three, but that comment really hit me. HARD.

He's right, of course. The harder one works at the craft of writing, the easier it will be for our future readers to enjoy our words. I need to pour all that I have into my manuscripts so that a reader can one day stay up all night, rifling through the pages, never once questioning the amazing ride that I'm taking him on.

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