Too often writing a book can feel like you’re working alone in a dark room. It’s easy to forget that you are, in fact, surrounded by aid on all sides. Let the books around you remind you what you love most about storytelling. Toni Morrison wrote, “Books are a form of political action. Books are knowledge. Books are reflection. Books change your mind.” George Saunders wrote, “Reading is a form of prayer, a guided meditation that briefly makes us believe we’re someone else, disrupting the delusion that we’re permanent and at the center of the universe. Suddenly (we’re saved!) other people are real again, and we’re fond of them.” How might centering yourself as a reader offer necessary space to engage with your own work? Being able to re-see your manuscript (over and over again) is crucial—and reengaging with yourself as a reader can offer that new lens from which to do so. Books can be an anchor and escape, but also light the path to unexpected ways of cracking open your own work—don’t forget to use them!
—Jamie Carr of the Book Group
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