Monday, October 24, 2011

The Knot, End of the Discussion (For Now)

Whenever I experience a change in my own habits, I tend to panic.  My subconscious says, "Nope, don't think so," and then I'm scrambling to figure out what the flip I really want, when what I really want I just established.

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.

Write on.

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