Do you enjoy reading about other writers, their bios and writing process?
In short, no, I don’t. I’ve read biographies before, but most of them bored me to a certain degree. The ones I have read I did so because I thought it might help my own writing process. I actually even tried to copy one author whom I admired, but her writing process was so different from my own that I ended up struggling to even get started. At that point I decided that I was myself with my own way of doing things. Why should I copy someone else? I’ve picked up a few tips along the way that I did adopt, but they fitted into my own way of doing things. As I read over this I think it makes me sound a little arrogant, as if nobody could teach me anything because I know it all. That really isn’t what I’m trying to convey. I guess I’m trying to say that I can’t be someone else. I’m me, and while I can pick up some tips and tricks from other authors, I can’t copy anyone’s writing process.
If an author wants me to read a biography, it has to be a short one. If I see a huge amount of text under an author’s picture, I don’t usually read it. Give me two, maybe three, nice paragraphs and let that be it. If I like what I read and want to know more, with the Internet I’m sure I can find out what I’m curious about.
A few years ago I read Mary O’Hara’s autobiography. Why? Because she wrote some books that I loved, and I wanted to find out more about her. She turned out being a big surprise to me. I had a preconceived idea about who she was, and I was partly right, but l also found out some things that I never would have guessed.
I’ve also liked learning about an author named Gladys Taber. She had a column in a national magazine for many years, but truthfully I’ve never read the magazine articles. I picked up one of her books at a library sale, and I liked it so much I ordered everything I could that she wrote. She wrote a series of books about her country home in Connecticut, and later books told about her life at Cape Cod. It wasn’t really a biography, but I learned a lot about her through her writing.
My son wants me to read a biography of John Adams, but even though I love history I don’t want to read it. I couldn’t get through a biography of George Washington either. I did read one of Thomas Jefferson, but I was like in the sixth grade, and the book was age appropriate. It had lots of nice pictures too!
I guess I’ve rambled enough. What about you? How do you feel about biographies and other author’s writing processes?