Reading to Do

The thing I regret most about my decision to pursue publication, other than relinquishing the dream of regular home-cooked meals, is the fact that I no longer read. Karen Mercury and I were discussing this last week, that when you delve as deeply as we do into structure, language, grammar, and plotting for a novel, everything else becomes a wall-banger (as in you throw it against the wall in frustration). I can no longer find as much pleasure, merely tuning out and absorbing a good story. If what I read is not paying off emotionally, I feel like I'm wasting good writing time. If what I read is too good, I panic and make negative comparisons to my WIP.

That's the worst! Argh! This sinking feeling that what I am writing will never measure up to something I'm enjoying. But I've noticed I am doing that with movies, as well, which is terrible. If I cannot make time for other passions, ideas, and inspirations, I will get stuck in my own head and suck it dry. No good.

I truly miss the process of reading. I miss anticipating the start of a new book, sitting down with a fresh paperback, and digging into the meat of another person's tale. So I spent this afternoon trolling through my TBR pile and my Paperback Swap account, which had FOUR unused credits lingering there. I ordered a few new books and plan to make a nightly date with myself, if only for a half hour. Bring on the books!

All that said, I do want to hit the 50,000 word mark by the end of the weekend...


Lyvvie said...

I'm so glad you wrote this because I get like this too. Reading every novel with a psychic red pen, thinking "Oh they must have cut some stuff because this should be a bigger part of the story," and suchness and I just felt like I was getting nit-picky smug but no! It's good old fashioned paranoia which I can deal with.

Ann(ie) said...

Mwahaha, 51K and climbing.

I'll be done Thursday, knock wood.

Tess said...

Have you read The Artist's Way? She talks about Artist Dates (which I keep meaning to blog about) as a way of replenishing your ideas and creativity--"stocking the pond" as she calls it. You pick something you like (not related to your kind of art) and do it for 2 hours. It can be serious or silly, but it's designed to get you out of your normal routine.

I feel bad that I don't enjoy more books--I tend to be very critical of what I read. It's the price you pay for expertise.