Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Bad Side of Writing

As it is with anything you decide to devote serious time to, other things in your life need to be pushed back. For me, it was reading. I spent my childhood with my nose buried in a book, and my love of reading is what got me started in the whole writing thang anyway. But it seems like writing and reading use the same frequency of mental energy, and doing one always seems to push back the other. Since I've been forcing myself to spew out word vomit as much as possible, reading takes the hit.

Oh, the books I started and abandoned this summer...

Echo City - Tim Lebbon
The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Zafon Ruiz
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
Palimpsest - Catherynne M. Valente
The Madness of Angels - Kate Griffin
Solstice Wood - Patricia McKillip

And what was the one book I finished? Passion by Lauren Kate. And it wasn't even good. And these book weren't just read a chapter and put it down, these were all halfway to three-quarters finished before they fizzled out or I got bored and picked up something else.

This make me sad.

I love reading! It's my thing, more than writing is my thing. I haven't gotten lost in a book since Wise Man's Fear came out in April (ish), and I seriously miss it. Not to mention the lack of stress-reducing reading before bed hasn't been awesome either. I've been watching a lot of TV shows on Netflix instead. I've found some awesome shows, but it's just not the same as a book.

But I have to focus on my small successes in writing. 20k! That's the furthest I've ever made it into a story, and I'm showing no signs of giving up on it. I hope it lasts! That is worth a summer without reading, but only as long as I finish writing Malevolent Souls. Otherwise this will all have been a waste of valuable reading time. I guess I have another reason to finish. I'm hoping revising will be easier on my poor little brain, and I'll be able to write another story (maybe not till the third draft of Malevolent Soul) or at the very very least start reading and enjoying it again!

P.S. I'm currently reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman. It's good so far. I'm trying to devote "reading time" the same way I've been devoting "writing time," so that I don't feel like I'm taking away from my writing to sit down and read. It's working so far.

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