Self-Exploration for Writers: Reading that Inspires Me

Self-Exploration for Writers: Reading that Inspires Me
By Norma J Hill (aka Pen And Paper Mama) ©2020

Welcome to a self-exploration series of exercises for writers: useful whether you are just thinking about writing, are a beginning writer, or are already an experienced writer. Explore what, for you personally, defines a writer, what kind of writer you are, what your writing goals are—and in the process, you will discover yourself as a writer. At the end of each post in the series, there is a link to a downloadable and printable PDF copy on which you can write your responses. Put them in a binder or duotang-type folder. Then, periodically along your writing journey, return to your answers, read what you noted previously, and add new thoughts and experiences. Through this self-exploration process, you’ll end up with a wonderful personal record of your writer’s journey.

1. Muses and Mentors
2. Reading that Inspires Me
3. Listening and Viewing
4. My Life Experiences Related to Writing
5. Inspiration and Dreams
6. Writing Formats and Focuses
7. My Writing Skills
8. My Readers/Audience
9. Preparing to Write

2. Reading That Inspires Me

“Writers are readers.” What kinds of writing have inspired you?  Write them down. Name specific titles and authors. How did each one influence, stimulate, or motivate you to write?

Fiction books:                  
Nonfiction books:                  
Short stories, flash fiction, six-sentences stories, or other short fiction:                    
Memoirs:                    
Poetry:                    
Books and articles about writing, both online and in print:                    
Magazines and journals:                    
Anthologies:                    
Academic and educational materials:                    
What else?                    

Putting your exploration into practice:

Which of the items above did you leave blank or had difficulty filling in? Go to a library or bookstore and ask the librarian or clerk for a title they recommend from that category. Borrow or buy it, then go home, curl up in your easy chair, and explore and enjoy reading it!

PDF LINK for this “Reading That Inspires Me” exercise: Download, print, fill in your responses, and place them in your own “Self-Exploration for Writers” binder.

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