Painterly Cindy and More Talks about Book Clubs ~ Why they are good for writers

If you are a subscriber to my newsletter, you have already read point one on why it’s important to your writing creativity to belong to a face-to-face book club, so jump down to point 2 to read the rest of the article. If you are not a subscriber, why not? Here’s the link to sign up. I promise. The most you’ll receive is ONE newsletter per month.

1-Belonging to a book club forces you to read books you might not normally know or consider. Sounds like you are back in high school? That’s not the point. Let me give you an example. I recently ‘had to read’ this book for book club: Frank Parker Day’s book ‘Rockbound,’ the 2005 selection for Canada Reads. This book was a struggle for me! I admit it. However, because I had committed to reading it for book club, I persevered and I am glad I did. I learned a lot about the eastern part of Canada, and how to write accents in dialogue.

2-By taking part in a book club makes you socialize. Writing can be quite solitary. So, by showing up for book club, you are forced, yup, forced, to show up for something social. Those connections are good for your brain, and foster a sense of belonging. Besides, belonging to book club can also provide fodder for character development. Shhh! Just don’t tell the book club you are doing research.

3-At book club, everyone gets a chance to speak and some people share a lot! As you listen to their ideas about what worked (and didn’t) in the book, these ideas can inform your writing. Ideas (both good and bad) about plot, character, and setting, to name a few, will assist you in your writing, if you let them.

Book club also allows you to talk about good writing. This can build confidence about literature and even your own work.

4-Preparing for book club can be like reading any book. Reading is a form of travel. You can find yourself in a new setting or a different period or facing issues you never knew existed. It’s a cognitive exercise, of sorts. It’s an opportunity to crystallize your own ideas and techniques for writing. For instance, I recently read some short fiction by Rick Moody, an author I was not familiar with. His name came up during book club’s exploration of short fiction collections. Now, he is an author I want to study and emulate.

See you in July when I discuss the merits of travel on creativity (visual art and writing).


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