So writing is contingent upon reading. And no work can ever be produced if you neither write nor read. This is old news. I’m not reporting a newsflash from the Great Beyond.
My reading habits are improving, going from not reading anything to reading the same books over and over to reading things I’d never looked at before. I have the fortune and blessing to be surrounded by writers, authors, and editors who DO read and share their favorite tomes. My eye, right now, is on “What makes it a great article, a fantastic story? What was it about that piece that got it published?” My job is not to mimic that story or article. My job is to make sure it’s good enough to go out into the world. I used to run around panting “Get published! Get more published!” Submitted material not quite on a whim, but not exactly with enough behind me to have a real chance. This is evolving.
Full disclosure: I don’t plan on reading the classics or what’s on the best sellers list right now. I don’t plan on becoming a literary fiction aficionado. That’s not who I am. I do plan on reading a broader range of stories so I can practice sitting still, letting my mind focus on the words unfolding, holding everything else at bay, and enjoy the story.
Learning how to keep the arse in the seat, keeping the mind focused down here on the page instead of on the trauma going on all around me, ALLOWING what’s real to rise up and seep out onto the page (which takes a lot of bravery), is my daily job.
Did I just say that?