18 Apr

A little R&R

Posted in Community, DIY MFA, Literature, Reading, Writing

Sometimes we need a little R&R, and I don’t mean “rest and relaxation,” I mean “reading and recharging.” Of course, writing is important because if we’re writers and we’re not actually doing any writing, then there’s something seriously wrong with the equation.  At the same time, if all we do is write and we don’t stop to read what else is out there in the world, then we’re living in a vacuum and that can be very lonely.

Yesterday in #DIYMFA chat, the subject came up of reading as a warm-up to writing and the idea really seemed to resonate with a lot of people in the chat.  With that in mind, I thought today we could talk about literature that inspires us and puts us in that writing mood.

But first, I wanted to tell you all of a great tool I’ve been learning about.  It’s called Goodreads.  Sort of like Facebook–but a lot cooler–Goodreads allows you to follow friends and get updates on what they’re reading, what they thought about it and what books they recommend.

Personally, I haven’t really started to scratch the surface of what Goodreads offers, but I Love reading list function.  You can put books on your to-be-read list and mark them off as you read them.  There’s even a 2011 reading challenge (for which I’m totally behind schedule!) that tracks how many books you read this year.  If anyone happens to be a Goodreads expert, please feel free to add more tips in the comments because I feel like this is such a great online community but I’ve only begun to explore its many benefits.

If you are on Goodreads (or you happen to join), please feel free to friend me (Gabriela Pereira–you’ll recognize me because I’m the only person on Goodreads with an iggi as a profile pic).

As for today, I’d like to hear about what you read.  What snippet of literature puts you in the mood to write?  For me, it’s a poem.  In fact, this poem always helps me see the lighter side of writing (and receiving criticism) so I like to read it as a warm-up when I’m feeling stressed-out by a writing project.  This poem makes me giggle and helps me not take myself too seriously.  After all, writing should be fun or else why do it, right?

Here’s the poem that inspires me: Workshop by Billy Collins

Homework: Please share in the comments a snippet of something you’ve read that has inspired you or helped put you in the writing mood.  Let’s inspire one another to write by sharing the literature that we love.  If it’s a short quote, you can tweet it too. Because literature that awesome can’t be kept to oneself; you have to share it with the world.  Write on!


Comments on this post

  1. MJones says:

    I am addicted to Goodreads. Seriously.

    1. Melody Jackson says:

      I love the little writing execrises on your blog. 🙂 Yes, writing should be fun, that's the only reason I do it.

      Well, I recently read a book called Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee. It's a really inspiring book. Once I finished it, I felt my fingers tingling to write something. The story Miss Suzanne has create is witty and entertaining.

      Here's the summary from Good Reads:

      When she is almost sixteen years old, Rosemary decides she is sick of being overweight, mocked at school and at Heavenly Hair–her mother's beauty salon–and feeling out of control, and as she slowly loses weight, she realizes that she is able to cope with her mother's cancer, having a boyfriend for the first time, and discovering that other people's lives are not as perfect as they seem from the outside.

      Also, I would like to give your blog the Versatile Blogger Award. Your writing excerise has really helped me with character development for my most diffcult characters.

      You can accept your honor here:


      1. K.V. Briar says:

        I love Goodreads. I'm new there too and only just starting to get the hang of it. I love the reading list and the rating and reviews system. So cool! And it makes reading and writing so fun!

        It might sound silly but I love to watch biographies of authors for inspiration. JK Rowlings and James Patterson are some of my faves. I'll come back later if I can find a link.

        Also inspired by reading of course. I like to read mid grade books because kids are so much more willing to suspend disbelief. The authors can create fantastical worlds and kids just take it in stride. They never fail to spark my imagination.

        1. Kerryn Angell says:

          I'm on Goodreads and love seeing what other friends are reading. Please add me if you'd like. Happy Reading!

          1. J.C. Martin says:

            I've added you as a Goodreads friend! 🙂

            Any piece of good writing inspires me to write. This includes at the moment the old works of Stephen King, his book On Writing, short but snappy short stories, etc. Not-so-well-written works can be inspirational as well. I learn to analyse work with a critical eye before turning that same eye on my work to avoid committing the same mistakes!

            1. Misa says:

              I'm on Goodreads and need to be a better reviewer!

              Currently reading Alien in the Family by the very awesome Gini Koch, and Midnight's Ghost by Sara Brookes (who is also awesome cos she helped me resubmt a homeless project).

              Both are on Twitter, which I'm utterly addicted to.

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