Anyone that wants to be a writer hears this over and over, “Writers must read, read, read.” There is no getting around it, other authors have much to teach us. We who want to follow in their footsteps just have to unstop our ears and listen. Take today for example. In honor of Pat Conroy, I am re-reading his books. Not in any particular order, I have started with Beach Music. Mr. Conroy was a master storyteller with rich, lush descriptions. So, as I struggle with my own book, to somehow portray in words the beauty that is Hawaii, Mr. Conroy’s writing has come to my rescue. Note this lovely description of Venice:
The gondolas we passed moved dreamlike about the water like black, misshapen swans from bouts of whimsy and nightmare. The sun broke out from behind a cloud bank, and I witnessed again the moment the Venice changed for me the nature of light. Light was beautiful everywhere, but only in Venice did it complete itself fully. …each palace along the canal preened like snowflakes in their un-holdable images of water.
Amazing! I’m there sitting by the water of beautiful Venice, watching all of this. So, what does this tell me about my own writing? Stop struggling. I’m trying too hard. Just remember how Hawaii made me feel and write it down. It’s as simple as that. With just a paragraph, Pat Conroy took me to Venice. Thank you my idol, my teacher!