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Sunday, 14 April 2019 19:09

Partner In Writing

Written by  Priscilla K. Garatti

Just trust your own voice.  And keep exploring the things that are interesting to you.~Nikki Giovanni

Recently, an individual who heard I wrote books asked, "How long have you been writing?  How do you do it?" 

"I don't remember a time when I've not written...or been reading," I answered.  "Reading is my partner in writing." 

I thought it might be helpful to share some authors I enjoy, as well as a tool I employ while reading to keep my writing life alive...


Dani Shapiro

Anthony Doeer

Kathleen Norris

Elizabeth Strout

Anne Lamott

Anne Tyler

Elizabeth Berg

Julia Cameron

Maggie Scarf

Sena Jeter Naslund

Carrie Brown

May Sarton

Eugene H. Peterson

Simon Van Booy

Madeleine L'Engle


I continue to discover voices I like.  I attempt to read authors whose writing I would like to emulate. 

Another tool I use while reading is creating a list of phrases and words I find.  Here are some from a recent list:

"four fingers pressed across her lips"

"pearling water"

"shuddering stars"

"sleet tapping the window"

"youth fallen away"


"blue spokes of moonlight"

"grasses starred with white anemones"

"raging efficiency"



On average, I read a book per week.  I practice the three-page rule. (I created this for myself.  I know others, who if they start a book, MUST finish it, even if not their favorite).  If I don't engage with the material after three pages, I don't complete the book.  My favorite genres are Literary Fiction and Memoir.  Thank God, there are diverse genres.  Enough for every personality and taste.  I enjoy reading hard copy books, so I can write in the margins and highlight passages.  I also like audio books, espeically when walking outside.  There is much variety these days.  No one way is better than another.  Go for what suits you best.

Over the years, I've learned that it is important for me to honor what I like to read, even if the book is not a bestseller. Even if its obscure, and no one has heard of the author.  Or even if the whole world is raving about a book.  If I don't like it, I don't feel compelled to read it.  Books that resonate with me, hone my writing voice.  I love the pairing of reading and writing.

Currently I'm reading Wallace Stegner's Crossing To Safety.

What are you reading?  I'd love to hear...