Learning from the great writers

There are those who believe the on-line marketers who offer us the opportunity of a large regular income for four hours work a week. The rest of us know that being successful and earning serious money involve hard work.

We can learn quite a lot from others of course. Perhaps I am not the world’s greatest marketer or the world’s greatest writer, but I do believe that in order to write my material it helps to read. It is not just a question of collecting knowledge, though in the digital age, we have the opportunity to do that (and I do). I believe it is also true to say that reading other people’s prose makes us better writers, even when we read fiction

Actually a good story helps me relax and chill out, and if there is something to admire in a writer’s style, some of which might rub off, that seems no bad thing.

Recently, because Amazon was kind enough to offer it for my Kindle, I downloaded G K Chesterton’s The Complete Father Brown Stories. I read most of the stories when I was in my early teens, which was a fair while ago, so perhaps I had not appreciated then how beautifully they are written.

Now of course I cannot plagiarise Chesterton in order to write better, and his style is of its period, which is definitely early Twentieth Century written by someone whose education was in the late Nineteenth. However, his stories are a joy to read and a reminder of how important it is to write well. If a little of his essence and that of other authors I read seeps through into my writing, it will be no bad thing.

It is like a sporty person having the chance to train with a top athlete. It can only help us to improve.

Do you enjoy fiction, and does it help when you write your own material?

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Giving our time to our loved ones and ourselves

Braun HF 1, Germany, 1959

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The other day I talked about giving time, but it was not a lecture for anyone, but more of an observation as to how some do and some don’t. I work hard on my business mainly because I enjoy it and get real satisfaction from having satisfied clients. I enjoy nearly very aspect.

I do think it is important to have family time, though, and to have a bit of fun, even if it is watching favourite TV programmes with my wife. I wouldn’t criticise others who don’t believe in watching TV, and surprisingly in 2011 I still know several who think it is a waste of time. They are entitled to their opinion. I like to use television as another source of learning, and even some TV fiction can be quite educational in addition to being relaxing. I can’t stand soaps, though.

Now and again it is important to relax the mind with a bit of recreation, so I read some fiction too. I think we need to step outside ourselves just a little, and into someone else’s shoes, to listen to their story. Anyway, I am not the only one who thinks we writers need to train with the best , many of whom write published fiction.

I think better and believe I write better when I remember to take time away from the computer. Surely I am not alone in that? All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

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