To write, perchance to read

The past ten months have included getting a job, graduating from college, moving to a new city, going to a live concert for a band I’ve wanted to see since high school, and developing the ability to write like a madwoman.

It’s been fun. And busy. Which meant that for these past ten-ish months, writing that wasn’t generating a paycheck got shelved.

As a result, I was hard-pressed to find reading time. When I did find time, it was often a chore in that the act of reading itself was all I could take. I didn’t have the energy to think beyond whether I’d enjoyed the book, much less talk about the reasons behind that with anything resembling coherence. I reread and poked around with newer stuff, but somehow the spark to talk about things never really stuck.

This isn’t even touching what a disaster my fiction writing schedule became as it slowly suffocated.

But like Desdemona in Othello, it wasn’t quite dead. Unlike Desdemona, I didn’t want to have to place the blame for its demise on myself.

The fiction writing came back more easily than the reading did, oddly enough. My day job is writing, a blessing that I’m truly delighted to have, but it’s writing in a style that is relentlessly factual. After a while, I realized I was losing my ability to put words together in a way that described and depicted, because I spent so much time using them to tell. For some reason, the first emotion this roused was irritation at myself for letting it get to that point. Apparently that’s a powerful motivator, as I ended up writing 53k-odd words for NaNoWriMo, figured out from there what was needed to make the plot work logistically, and sat down to do more thorough outlining.

Reading came when I realized I was compulsively buying $2 and $3 books on Kindle while the backlog of things I hadn’t read stretched back years. So starting in January, I started plowing through that backlog, got through roughly a dozen books, found a couple that were surprisingly enjoyable, and had one annoy me so much that I realized I wanted to complain about it somewhere, somehow. I found a different venting outlet than this blog, but it sparked the realization that I wanted to talk about books and storytelling again.

So that’s what I’m going to try to do. If there’s anyone reading, I hope you’ll join me for the ride.

Fictionwise: Aside from novel outlining, a short story that’s really rough quality and too much fun not to finish. It involves a city where powerful entities can make bargains with deities of different types for earthly advancement and focuses on a person who makes a living from finding out the details of those contracts for various interested parties. Whether it will go anywhere remains to be seen. Status- 3,048 words.

Music: Currently, the soundtrack for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

 

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4 thoughts on “To write, perchance to read

  1. We are always reading your posts, Maggie! (Not in a creepy way, hehee.) Glad to hear that you’re still alive. I do miss your blog so but I understand that real life has to come first! The story you’ve outlined at the end of your post sounds really interesting, so you know, if you ever need a beta reader. 😉 Also, if you ever publish anything, expect me to be your over-enthusiastic number one fan!

    As a fellow reader I have to ask, what was this book that annoyed you so? I trust your opinion on these things and wish to avoid the same fate…

    • Ahaha, I’m flattered to hear the posts are still being read by somebody! The real life just has a way of prioritizing itself, especially when rent and things have to be paid, haha. I’m glad to hear the story sounds interesting (though I don’t think it’s even remotely close to beta-reading it, even the coolest concepts can’t cancel writing as rough as the surface of the moon)- and if I get it polished and readable, I might take you up on that 🙂 Though it might shake the fan status- my writing still has a really long way to go!

      The book was called The Bloodletter’s Daughter and it was one of the most uneven, patchworked, and irritating things I’ve had the displeasure of reading in quite some time. And it’s not even a well-known book, but for some reason, it made me want to tear it to shreds (which I could not do as it was an e-book).

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