Just wanting to curl up and read sounds odd to folks when I say it because, well, that’s what I do every day! Sort of. But in a different way.
While it’s true I spend my days writing books or stories, and then editing other people’s books or stories, the thing is, even though I love it, love all that goes into living in this world of words, those things are actually work.
Nothing thrills me more than writing. Sometimes via inspiration, often just via perspiration, at the end of a session I’m always a bit tired. Psychically so. You know what that’s like? When you’ve done what you do creatively, whether for an hour or a day or even a few minutes, the flush of energy expended leaves you floating on a high. And then, just a bit spent. Although it is, as they say, a good spent 🙂
And while I love working on other writers’ manuscripts, that’s tiring in a different way. It takes that other side of the brain, and focus, and attention, and always that question about how to make it better. Always making sure I didn’t miss something. It’s tiring. Although at the end of the day, in a good way 🙂
But by the end of said day, my eyes are too physically fatigued to read. So, I save that for weekends.
Often when I’m really tired, I find myself longing to just curl up with a great (already published and bound!) book and just forget the real world exists. Isn’t that what a great book does for you? It transports you to different lands (or sometimes across the street), to meet folks you might have never met (or perhaps, they live next door), and contemplate ideas you hadn’t thought of (although maybe you had dreamed).
I often hear from my editorial clients that I’ve ruined reading for them! Now doing so with a critical eye, they can’t help but see all that is wrong in a book. Oh, how flat the characters are. Or how implausible the plot. Or the prose! Gasp! Horrors!
And at first, this is truly the case. But I assure them that joy in reading others’ works will return. And one day they’ll quit trying to fix books already in print J
They always ask how I can enjoy reading, after all this time of writing and editing. And it’s simple, really. I just turn that side of my brain off and enjoy.
Isn’t the brain a marvelous thing? Although the sub-conscious mind does, indeed, rule our lives, we have dominion over the conscious part, and can direct it to the most expeditious function. So when I set out to read, I enjoy. And if a book’s not up to snuff, I quit it. Quickly. There are far too many fabulous books just waiting to be read! My nightstand and bookshelf and end tables are testaments to that J
Folks also find odd that with as much reading as I do, when I talk about playing hooky, it’s in terms of reading the newest Pat Conroy. Or Richard Ford. Or any of a host of authors I love. That’s what I long for when truly overworked!
Because of course, I simply love books. Or I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing all day long. Give me words on a page—whether I wrote them or someone else. The theater of my imagination is rich and full and oh, the places we go!
But alas, that is not on the agenda today. This weekend, maybe! Because I’ve been putting off finishing the last of the Richard Ford’s Frank Bascomb books, not wanting to let go of old Frank. But I hear him calling . . .
And then I’ll dig into the vast stack of bound books just begging to be opened.
Because, of course, that stack needs to be read by July, as oh, my—Go Set a Watchman will be devoured on the day! Harper Lee!
Blood is surging through my veins! So excited!
What book stirs your fancy?