“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” ~ William Faulkner
I have a confession. Since the holidays, I’ve lost my muse. Other than my blog posts, my journal, and the hundreds of e-mails I write for my day job, I’ve been full of excuses when it comes to reasons to not write. As I mentioned before, I am easily distracted and can lose my focus in an instant. This past weekend that all changed. I pounded out a short story for an upcoming contest and it was exhilarating. Once again the motivation and desire to make up stories is pumping through my veins.
What sparked the turnaround? Since the New Year, I have been reading like a madwoman. I’ve been plowing through books at a top rate speed. I’ve always been a voracious reader, that’s nothing new. It started when I was a child with the Little Golden Books and grew from there. I always have to be reading a book, sometimes I’ll read several at the same time. I’ll never leave home without a book in my purse. So the fact that I read a lot has always been a constant, but it’s the volume and speed of my reading that changed.
Lately I read to avoid writing. I read to keep my mind busy to avoid the truth; I wasn’t writing. I told myself if I was reading I was entertaining myself in a creative way. In the end, all of the reading I’ve been doing in January and February helped get my creative wheels, that had become so rusty, spinning again. Last weekend, my laptop was smoking and it felt great!
Do I plan to continue to read at this fast and furious pace? Probably not, since I was using books to fill the hole my missing muse had left. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be reading because I am a reader and as a writer, I can’t afford not to. Not to mention the fact that my TBR bookshelves are filled with over 100 books.