I really think, sometimes, a great way to break through writer’s block, besides just forcing yourself to write, is to read. But you can’t read just anything, can you? It has to be inspiring. Or at least fun.
In the past week, I have been lucky to read a pile of absolutely inspiring books, starting with Dave Eggers’ new one, A Hologram for the King. If I tried to tell you the plot of this story, you would just think to yourself Why would I want to read that? But it was an excellent read. Anything that guy writes is excellent; he has such a talent.
Neil Gaiman was next with Anansi Boys. Loved it. A few chapters in I was wondering when it would become more Gaiman-like (there was an odd lack of magi or fantasy) and then all of a sudden it appeared. It was nearly impossible to tear me from the book. Even on public transportation, I was glued to the novel.
Then I got to read a few sequels about my favorite characters, Odd Thomas (Dean Koontz) and Thursday Next (Jasper Fforde). I’m halfway through the latter.
I was surprised to find that as soon as I started reading Hologram, my writer’s block just disappeared. So maybe, for me, it’s all tied into what I’m reading.
So I guess what I’m wondering now is, what inspires other writers out there. Here is a poll to find out.
Dennis Finocchiaro is the author of such books as The Z Word, a collection of flash fiction that takes place during the zombie apocalypse, Capturing a Moment, a collection of his flash fiction typed onto vintage photographs using an antique typewriter, and Inheritance, a nonfiction memoir about his grandfather.
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