Living in Mexico. EVERYTHING you need to know (and then some)
one effective way to become an effective writer
September 25, 2019
The thought of owning an electronic book reader is well, not even a thought for me. I relish the smell of a new novel. The feel of its cover, the crack of it’s spine when opened for the first time. I adore cloth bound books and old leather covers that in themselves, have a story to tell.
The feel of a book in my hand is like no other. Those feelings could never be equaled, let alone replaced, by an electronic book reader. It is my intense love of physical books that I believe helps me be an effective writer.
I absolutely adore old bookstores with the same anxiety as a child entering a candy store, which to me, is exactly what a bookstore is. A candy store. I have been swept away for endless hours inside the tiniest of used bookstores, inhaling the smell of lives past who too, enjoyed each and every shelved story sitting, waiting for a new reader.
Since my home is not large, I’ve converted the extra bedroom into a book room, successfully turning it into an office-library with book-lined walls and comfy seating areas for when the moments hit me, which are often.
Reading is how I relax. It is also how I end every one of my days, with a book in hand. Instead of planting a television in my bedroom, I opted for a beautiful bedside reading lamp that has shone many hours of light on my book of the week.
I have found reading an eclectic genre of literature one way to become an effective writer. Learning writing styles, ways to express events, moments, emotions, learning what works and what doesn’t, are only some of the take-away lessons.
I also enjoy biographies, reading how often a now-famous author was rejected by a cranky you’re-not-good-enough editor or publisher who turned out to be wrong. It was one way I managed my many, many rejections. To read the story of a now successful author and realize that editors are often mistaken.
Some of my favorite authors include classic writers such as Oscar Wild and Stefan Zweig to Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez and modern authors like Elizabeth Berg and Dan Brown, to name only a few.
Douglas Adams, Virginia Woolf, Leo Tolstoy, George Orwell, Ken Follett and Stieg Larsson also take up a fair amount of space on the walls of my makeshift library. I am forever seeking out both new and old material, which was challenging after moving to Mexico.
When I first arrived, there was only one used bookstore in Cancun that rarely offered a turnover of new reading material, but it was all that us English-speaking and reading expats had. When I moved from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, I left that behind, but often traveled by bus to that used Cancun bookstore to fill my need of books.
Over the years, as more and more English-speaking foreigners arrived, both new and used bookstores, not to mention online shopping options, began to carry not only a full line of literature, but books that were also in English, a novelty in my Spanish-speaking world.
If you truly want to be an effective writer, a diverse writer or any style of writer that will move you forward, diving into literature is a great way to begin.
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” –Marcus Tullius Cicero