I have been rewarding myself lately for the completion of my third non-fiction book, by reading a GREAT novel! Have you heard about “The Paris Wife” yet? I find it to be the perfect distraction from all the pressure I put on myself to be writing or promoting constantly.
Why? Because this book is extremely well-written, and it’s about the life of a writer. Rarely do I read fiction that inspires me to take notes. But this book makes me want to write down the beauty of the author’s mastery of language, as she creates and then immerses us in the complex world of the 1920’s in America and in Paris.
Here’s an example, a quote supposedly from Ernest Hemingway after he arrives in Paris in 1922 to become an artist himself:
“Why is it every other person you meet says they’re an artist? A real artist doesn’t need to gas on about it, he doesn’t have the time. He does his work and sweats it out in silence, and no one can help him at all.”
That’s exactly how I felt when I started out writing at age 50 and joined a couple writing groups. Most of the writers I met were wannabe’s who “gassed on about it” and didn’t do all that much actual writing. Not all-in-all a very inspirational group in my experience.
Worse than that, some I met actually sabotaged me in my early efforts to make a difference with my writing. Now I carefully choose those who I wish to meet with to discuss my writing. I find few writers I respect enough, and only include those who seem serious about their craft.