It’s been a bit more than a week since I decided on a one-month ban on writing or reading books and watching videos on how to write. The idea was to use my scheduled writing time to read fiction in hopes of refilling a dry creative well.
How’s it going?
I haven’t written. (Unless you count blogging, as I’ve done an uncharacteristic number of blog posts—which might make me the writing equivalent of people who declare themselves vegans while eating dairy, eggs, and fish.)
I have read. I’m concentrating on short stories, and I’ve polished off two-and-a-half anthologies and a science fiction magazine. Not exactly War and Peace but not bad for reading crammed into an hour or two per day.
At first, weirdly, I felt terrible writing cravings. As non-productive as I’ve been lately, I’ve always been quietly trying in the background—often writing thousands of words per week that just don’t see the light of day. So, I guess I missed the desperate trying. I also felt guilty—my inner self-hating bastard kept presenting a lack of desperate trying as laziness or quitting. I got over it.
After that, I passed through a brief phase of severely editing everything I read. Assuming that was the writing craving sublimating.
It took most of the week for me to settle into recreational reading and just enjoy it as reading. Very nice to have that pleasure back in my life.
In terms of results, reading has inspired a couple of story ideas, dutifully recorded for later. I think that’s a good sign.
As I say, I’ve been blogging again. Mostly reviews of what I’m reading, yes, but I’ve been echoing the reviews to Good Reads and Amazon, so it feels like good writerly citizenship.
Nothing huge, earth-shaking, or epiphany-laden. But I’m happy with it.