To Write, You Must Read

I’m working on my novel again because I’ve been reading.


A popular book in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, South of Superior, by Ellen Airgood.

If you’re not writing, you’re also not reading.

The two go hand-in-hand together.

Like peanut butter and jelly.

You can eat a peanut butter sandwich without jelly, or jelly without PB, but the magic doesn’t happen until you lather the bread with both.

In the same way, you can write without reading, or you can read without writing. But until you’re reading, you will not lather a page of paper with words.

In Search of My Muse

Two Fridays ago now, I met a woman in the Washington Ave. McDonald’s of Marquette, Michigan. That day, she mentioned being a “vociferous reader.” Said she was reading a book by an Upper Peninsula of Michigan author, Ellen Airgood.

The Muse-ical woman said she’s reading South of Superior.

I went to the only bookstore in Marquette, Snowbound Books, but they were out of copies. I ordered one they said I would receive in a week. So I left my name and phone number for them to call me when the book arrived.

Half an hour later, they called me to say that someone had brought in a book that was last printed in May 2012. The book is used, in mint condition, and even signed “To Ann,” by the author.

I am now close to page 320.

The Result of Reading Once Again

For us writers, there is something magical that reading does to our brain and creativity. Reading is like receiving mana from Heaven.

Perhaps there’s a chemical change in the brain caused by reading. Not my area of expertise. We still know so little about the brain and it’s said that we rarelu use to its fullest potential.

For me, I’ve gone looking and found files from the last few years for my work-in-progress. I’m working on my Story Grid spreadsheet once again.

New ideas appear from 13 weeks of tent camping in the Upper Peninsula, where the WIP takes place in 1977.

I’ve purchased new markers from Walmart so I can revise the Jen Manuel way.



Donald J. Claxton - The Timberlander

Donald J. Claxton is The Timberlander, focused on off-grid living, woodworking, basswood carving, and pallet wood rustic modern projects.