Since the advent of the novel, I have a problem: I don't really want to read. I can't wait to find out what happens next in my own story, so anything on-line, off-line, longer than a poem, smaller than a breadbox tends to be an obstacle. (Hell, blogging tends to be an obstacle. But I am here to record the truth of the matter, dear writer.) Shut up, world, and let me see what the protagonist does now.
I know why I want to shut off the outside and just write:
- I'm afraid I'm going to lose this great story if I read someone else's;
- I still have a whole bookcase of books not yet read.
Lack of work/life balance, that's all. I still need to read; if I wrapped myself up in my own work I would be operating with a sense of hubris that is relative to that of a Yankee player or Top Gun pilot. But by feeling this way about reading, I can come to a compromise; I no longer need to finish a book because I was dumb enough to buy it (even though it's bringing me down), and I no longer need to clean off a bookshelf in a month. I've read down the stack to the point that all of the books from the floor are gone, everything's properly shelved, and if I stop myself in the bookstore with "hey Jo, you have enough books and your own book at home" then I can curl up with a book and stop clocking in at one hundred pages a sitting.
Unless, I'm writing, that is.
I'm grateful to finally be picky, and grateful to have a novel, strangely enough. In the advent of no husband, no children, no pool and no pets, I'm grateful to have my version of a progeny, and one that I adore so freely, without having to learn about the subject matter from the ground up.