When in doubt, read


If you’re stuck for inspiration, read, 
If you’re struggling with a problem then read
If you’re upset, depressed, bored, blocked, or heartbroken; then read.



A Bristol planter on wheels.

Reading is the partner of writing. Readers, of course, need writers.
Before people made marks on paper, they told stories, sang or danced
an audience needs storytellers. I’m telling myself this because I’m feeling stuck, muddled, weepy even.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been struggling over what to write  in the novel, and on this blog.
I feel like I’ve been stopped.
BUT – I’ve been using twitter on an undercover project.
The writer at work could be the subtitle – every weekday on my daily commute
I collect dialogue, describe characters and practice writing via #traintweets. Find me @wordpoppy if you wish.
One of my rules of @wordpoppy is that the sentences have to have impact, rhythm and must shine, so I am practising my craft. I don’t know if traintweets will go anywhere but it’s fun, and I may be able to use it  as  a performance piece.
I could be writing short stories on the train, and I should be editing the novel, but there’s a lot of resistance to the editing. I am working out which bits to scrap in the novel, and how to rewrite the last sections. At the moment I only see mistakes.

So I’ve turned to reading to unblock myself and I’ve found a wonderful book which inspires, thrills and lays a breadcrumb trail of hope for me.
Why I write is because I want to produce work of great quality for the reader, that tells a story truthfully that touches the reader, that breathes, that becomes larger than myself.

The book that I spent the morning reading is The Detour by Gerbrand Bakker.
It is haunting, told in a quiet unassuming style. There is no interior monologue. Characters never explain themselves to the reader, we have to infer everything. It hooks you from the beginning and has a cracking denouement, with simple, powerful prose.

Now I am going to write. 

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