When I am not sleeping, walking dogs, being social, cleaning home, seeing movies or writing, I am reading, reading reading and reading; anything and everything. Sometimes all of something, and sometimes snippets of things.
It’s possible that I have an evolutionary advantage, some random genetic mutation that predisposes me to reading because when I read, any energy my body uses for hearing is hijacked and used to fuel the ability to dive into and be completely immersed in the story.
The same is true for writing.
It’s this reading
It is not 100 per cent accurate to say that to write well you need to read, but I think it’s fair to say that it’s helpful. There are some people who write who do not want to be influenced by others writing and so do not read much. It may be that the world of writing and the world of becoming an author are both changing. But in the world of becoming a writer who becomes and author of something that many people will say is a worth reading. That;s for others to sayThere is a tried and true method of writing, of becoming a writer: read read read and write write write and keep doing doing doing it. The repetitive nature of this is important, although I am not sure about the line between repetition and ritual. I am still pondering that.
And I want to be cognizant that not everyone who writes wants what they write to be read. They write to get things out of their head, that ‘mental shower’ of pouring out everything in words so that mind and soul are clear. And that’s good too.
As a reader, I’m generally willing to invest the time and attention to read to the end of the second MAYBE third chapter, or first 700 words of an article. If my attention is not captured in some way by that point, I won’t read it.
Once, in my early 30s when I was still impetuous, I took a book out from the library that looked interesting as I glanced through it. However, when I got it home and started to read it, it was so badly written, and with outrageous statements that seemed dangerously close to racist that I got angry and threw the book away.
When I think of that now, I cringe. Not only did I behave as an outraged and unthinking censor of a book, I threw a book in the garbage. Me. Who has a shrine to books beside my bed. And it wasn’t even my book. It’s one of those life moments that’ll always make me cringe when I think of it, and when I get to wherever I am going at the end of my life, I just know I’m going to have to answer to the gods and goddesses of books and words.