The best writing advice that I have taken from heart to practice is to finish what I start. Currently, that means finishing a second edition of my first book, Blood Child (with the help of a fabulous editor), working on the rewrites of another project and finishing many of the books I started to read but put down.
Why those books?
Well, the books on my list of to finish are good books. Books given to me by family for a reason or books of historical important. They are well written and I’ve enjoyed or learned something from reading them. I didn’t finish them either because I was distracted or in the case of Come Hell or High Water, the material in the book was too heavy during the pandemic and a mental break was needed.
I took up Come Hell or High Water by Michael Eric Dyson again this morning. I finished Chapter 6 “Follow the Leader?” and was struck by how some of the actions we felt were new to President Trump’s administration weren’t knew at all, but old political tricks. How many other administrations have played this games with us?
Come Hell or High Water is about the how the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was handled by officials on all levels. The full title of the book is Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, thousands of people were left to suffer in conditions we would equate as only existing in third world countries. The majority of the victims were the Black and nearly all were impoverished. Katrina was one of many events in our nation’s history that has caused long lasting trauma to communities of color.
The American attitude that people can pull themselves up from their boot straps breaks down time and time again in reality. Especially when the boots and all of your clothing has been washed away in flood waters. Or you had to sell the boots to pay for food. The fast paced cycle of news means that often we have moved on before the story is over.
This has happened again and again. The people of Flint, Michigan are still dealing with the water crises that dominated the news in 2015 and 2016. The people of Detroit continue to deal with high unemployment and poverty stemming from the lost of the auto manufacturing. Not to mention the victims of other natural disasters.
Maybe it is time that instead of moving on to the next flashy thing, we start finishing what we start as a country and help all of American thrive, not to live the American Dream which has only be available to a privileged few, but whole and meaningful lives of their own choosing.
At least that’s what I’ve gotten from reading it thus far.
Part of being a writer for me is being well read. I try and read a variety of material including things that challenge my worldview. This is not to say that everything I read is intellectually stimulating some things are just for fun.
So what are you reading? Is it something for fun, educational or a little of both?