I decided a while back that I wouldn't buy any more books about writing. I own, or have read, Bird all the obligatory ones -- Writing Down the Bones, The Writer's Way, Bird by Bird. There comes a time when, to be blunt, you have to shit or get off the pot. No more reading about writing. It is too easy to read and read and think that is working and, in some ways it is, but often it is just an advanced form of procrastination.
So, I was at Borders the other night (I love how they are open to midnight when I am in holiday-nocturnal mode) and decided to grab some books to browse while having a coffee (I love that as well). One of the books I picked up was The Pocket Muse - Ideas and Inspiration by Monica Wood. Just to browse. Honest.
Wow! This may not be the greatest book on writing ever but it sure is the prettiest. Every page is just so lovely. The whole book is just delightfully laid out. I had to have it. My inner Veruca Salt (I want it, I want it now, not the band) was screaming too loud to be silenced. When we were prematurely ejectulated from the cafe, I was nowhere near finished browsing. I bought the damn book.
I am so glad too. The text lives up to the loveliness of it. Not big awe-inspiring ideas, just little things that flicker a light in the dingest recesses of my head cavity. Things that wouldn't mean much to you if I wrote them here, but handy and good and timely.
Have you ever noticed that even you have any kind of epithany in life, no matter how big, no matter how small, it is almost impossible to articulate to anyone else? I think those kind of things can be knowledge we know in our heads, but an epithany happens in the heart or the soul, or maybe even the pancreas, but somewhere that isn't logical. You can tell your friend that you just had this revelation and in the telling it boils down to a simple homily that everyone knows -- money doesn't buy happiness; look before you leap; let sleeping dogs lie -- that type of thing. Your friend responds with - der! They don't understand that you haven't just learnt some naff saying but the truth behind it and how it applies to you as a person.
That is the type of thing I mean. It probably wouldn't mean much if I told you but to me it is like a giant "Ah-ha!"