When my husband's Uncle Rick died more than two years ago, we discovered an entire library of books on writing. Of course, I was drooling over them and since no one else really wanted them, they came back to Kansas with me in a very heavy suitcase. One of my goals (not a New Year's Resolution) is to read one of them every week.
I took so many classes on creative writing in high school and college--I thought I'd learned all there was to know. The rest is just practice, right? Maybe...maybe not.
I had a favorite series when I was in high school. Actually, the author has written several series, all historical pioneer-type stories. They all have a Christian theme and most have women as the main character.
I'd gotten the first one at the library and spent many months trying to find the second. Then, one day, my grandma came over with the entire series.
"I've just been waiting for you to be old enough to enjoy these."
What luck! I dove right in and devoured them. I've been working on my own story of a similar time period and decided to read them again, more than ten years later. I'm finding that I don't enjoy them nearly as much, mostly because now, I recognize the writing for what it is--amature. All of the things I'm learning (and have known all along): show, don't tell; don't use dialect unless you're trying to make things difficult for the reader; don't be sentamental--all of that stuff runs rampant in these books.
While I'm glad to have learned, I'm sorry to have lost some childhood friends.