Christopher Myers, a vibrant young author, shares his passion and profession with his father, Walter Dean Myers. Some of his most recent works include Wings, Black Cat, and Fly!. In an interview for this project, he talked about the ways he looks at writing and its various processes.
Listen to the audio.
"Well, being that my father's a writer, [Myers's father is Walter Dean Myers, the prolific author] my first memories of good writing don't come so much from reading those good writers, but seeing what the process of writing was about. Was seeing that writing was a lot more about discipline than it's advertised to be on television. To see that to be a good writer, you have to write every day.
"And getting into the habit of writing as opposed to waiting for inspiration to hit you was more important to being a writer, to the existence of a writer, than living this life that somehow was inspirational. And so, I think that that was one of the first examples of good writing that I saw, was the habits of my father, a writer.
"After that, I've always been a reader. And so, the process of … I've always been a reader and there are several authors that come to mind, including Gabriela Mistral who was translated by Langston Hughes. Right now I'm really into this woman, Ann Carson who's a poet. A lot of poets come to mind when I think of good writing, because there's a conciseness to their language, 'to the pointness' about them that I think is really important for young writers to see.
"For young writers to understand that good writing is about getting across what they're trying to say. It's . . . so often when people teach writing to young writers, they focus on what the buzz words are of good writing. Detail. Scene. Setting. Descriptions. Adjectives. And often times they forget that writing is in essence about communication. And I think that that is a hallmark of all the writing I love, is that it communicates a point or an idea."