Saturday, October 3, 2009

BUTT IN CHAIR—and Write And Read That Book!

Guest Blog by Ann Hite

Many people ask me why I write so many book reviews when I could be using the time to write fiction. Sometimes I ask myself the same question. Dawn’s article, BUTT IN CHAIR—and Write, helped me answer that question.

First, I write book reviews for the books. I write for two online magazines Internet Book Review and Feminist Review that provide me books. I love books. I’m not sure which I love more, books or the act of writing. They go together for me.  

Second, I write the reviews to work with the wonderful editors. They bring out my best work. Both magazines have taught me more about nonfiction writing than four years of writing classes in college.

Third, I am primarily a fiction reviewer with the occasional memoir. This has given me an edge in my own work. Taking apart a novel, really understanding the structure, has helped me with the writing of my first novel.  Also, my book reviews have drawn the attention of a medium size press in New York, who requested to send their novels directly to me. By reading and reviewing fiction, I have taught myself a lot about fiction writing. It's almost like being in my own private MFA program. I can talk the talk. I know my fiction and have my local library asking me questions about new novels.

So, even though, like Dawn, I’m not receiving big checks for my efforts, I am gaining huge experience. I have a deadline and goals. Both keep me on target with my novel writing. I am building confidence in the area I love and my library has double in size. What more can I ask?