Most of us are writers because somewhere, probably at a very young age, we grew to love books. Some of us even went to sleep with books. Others of us stayed up late reading with a flashlight under the covers. That “flashlight reading” led us to worlds we could only imagine and led us on adventures bigger than life.
As you write, I hope you still go to bed with books. But I also hope that you are reading, not just to escape to other worlds, but I also hope that you are spending some time shedding light on HOW those stories are put together.
As writers, we no longer just “read like readers” we also need to “read like writers.” The more we read, the stronger our writing can become.
And books—the same ones we love to read—can be come the flashlights that show us the way in our writing.
When I get blocked in my writing, I read.
When I lose confidence in myself as a writer, I read.
When I write but I know I haven’t found the right way into my story yet, I read.
It’s in those moments, when I hold tightly to stories, that I find my way.
Reading like a writer, or using books as mentor texts, can be a liberating experience.
It can shed light on issues in your own writing or inspire you in your own writing.
As I read like a writer, I often find myself saying:
“Oh that’s how she did it!”
“Wow! I want to write like that!”
“I want my book to have THIS kind of feel.”
This may sound kine of loosey-goosey, but people who know me well, know I’m pretty practical. It’s when I find a text that gives me that “a-ha” moment that I really study it. What is it about that book that gives me that “a-ha” moment?
Over the past few years, I’ve done a lot of mentor text posts from the “What is a mentor text” type post to “How to use word play in your writing” post with lots of examples.
But the problem was all of my mentor text posts were scattered all over my site, the GROG, and several other people’s sites where I did guest posts. So I put them altogether in one printable e-book: “Mentor Texts for Writers: Book 1.”
This book is where I take my flashlight and I try to show you how to use mentor texts to help you improve your own writing.
You get to take books you love, find out what makes you love them so much, and use them to help you become a better writer.
For a preview, click here. It’s also being offered as a prize for our Grog 1 Year Anniversary.
I hope that using mentor texts will show you the way to become a better writer.
Previous GROG Posts on Mentor Texts
- Looking for Mentor Texts: The What, The Why, The How, the Where
- I Have Mentor Texts I Want to Use, Now What?
- Learning How to Write Using Poetry Mentor Texts
- Using Poetry as Mentor Texts
- Let's Play: Mentor Texts for Word Play
Help Me Help You
What are things that you struggle with as a writer? Leave me a note in the comments. I’ve already started brainstorming book 2 and I’d love to know what you’d like me to include.