I think all writers are readers, but not all readers are writers.

We love to immerse ourselves in good books, don’t we? Fiction or non-fiction, a book is a magic carpet whisking us off to places unknown where we encounter any number of characters, real or imaginary. I love the cute line someone wrote on Facebook. “Today I am going to clean my entire house. Oh look! A book.”

Read a great book, recently? Please share. Do you like fiction or non-fiction? Do you prefer one genre to others, or are you eclectic?  I don’t care for mysteries (don’t care whodunit) but I do enjoy a well written mystery if the setting appeals to me and the characters are three-dimensional.

Not only do I love to read, but I cannot not write. I believe that is true of all of us who slave away at essays, stories, articles, plays, or books. It’s what we are wired to do. Then there’s writers block. I find a deadline is a sure cure for me, but if you don’t have a deadline, how do you deal with it?

Mastering the craft of writing is another matter. As I have gotten to know fellow writers, I’ve discovered we approach our work differently. Some use music in the background. I find that too distracting. Others write best in coffee shops. Wouldn’t work for me. I need to be in my office BIC (butt in chair), with no outside distractions. What works for you?

Many writers find keeping a journal is helpful. I don’t. I would need to go back and edit the thing, and that’s too much work for something that will not see publication. Free-flow writing works for me when developing my characters’ backgrounds, so they walk into my novel with unique personalities and histories.

Some write from the seat of their pants, and we call them “pantsers.”  I read where J.R.R. Tolkien said he wrote Lord of the Rings to find out what a hobbit was. A “plotter” would not only know what a hobbit was before the first word was written, but would have a three page outline of their physical appearance, how they move, work, and what they like to do — for starters. Are you a pantser or plotter?  Maybe a bit of both?  How do you plot your novels? How do you begin your non-fiction work?

Join the conversation. We have so much to read, write, and say. In a way, it’s all the same thing, isn’t it? Communication!