Back when I first got serious about writing I subscribed to Writer's Digest magazine. But after a few years of reading I became cynical or realistic, depending on your take.
Articles with titles such as, Write That Best Selling Novel In Only One Weekend and Ten Step Guide to Becoming the Next J.K. Rowling lost their appeal as I discorved the true odds of the business.
Okay I made those title up, but back 8 or 9 years ago Writer's Digest did crank out some sensationalized articles.
I also subscribed to The Writer for a few years after playing host to one of their editors at our local conference, but over time I let that one drop as well.
So it's been a good long while since I've picked up and read a writing magazine but earlier this week one of my critique partners, the oh-so-talented, Caron Guillo, gave me a recent copy of Writer's Digest.
Knowing that I am writing a memoir she gave it to me so that I could read an interview the magazine did with Mitch Albom. Caron knew some of the struggles I was having in writing my Feedstore Chronicles and she correctly guessed that I would appreciate Mr. Albom,s answers regarding his notable memoir, Tuesdays With Morrie.
Odd as it sounds I think there are some parallels between my story and his so now I am eager to finally reading the memoir and study it for structure. But the thing that stuck with me most about the interview was when they asked Mr. Albom the secret behind his being successful as a sports writer, a memoirist, and a novelist.
His answer was that he could his skills lay not in writing so much as they did in storytelling and he said regardless of what you are writing every author should have the same goal -- make the reader constantly ask the same question ... WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Yeah I know that statement sounds so simple, but for whatever reason it struck a chord within me. Perhaps I've been trying too hard shape and bend my story to fit within the standards and guidelines. Perhaps I should simply tell these tales the way I have countless times over the years. maybe I need to forget I'm writing at a computer desk and start imagining I'm pontificating over a few beers.