Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Article | NaNoWriMo Day 25 - After writing reading is never the same

NaNoWriMo Day 25

After writing, reading is never the same

Maybe that’s just me. 

In order for me to write, it is just me and my book.  That is the only tale I need.  The only story that need be spinning in my mind. 

I guess you could say I have an addictive personality, or perhaps that I am easily distracted. 

What I do know is this:  If I am reading I am not writing.  When I read I really allow myself to sink into the material – or used to anyways.  When I am reading all my spare time goes towards reading, like an addiction.  I have to have it.  Which disallows me the ability to write at the same time.  I can’t be addicted to finishing reading a novel and expect that I will have the same dedication for my writing.   I can only handle one story at a time.  And it is either mine, or someone else’s. 

I don’t want to abandon my story with its rough hewn sloppy edges for a nicely polished up shinny book whose story has filigreed edges that sparkle and it’s cover is made of deep red soft velvet.  See how alluring another story sounds compared to that slop you have been slaving over.  But I know given time and attention my story has the potential to be nicely trussed up too.  However, it won’t get there if I keep abandoning it in favor of a quick fix. 

Also, now that I am writing, I read a book differently.  I consider character POV and pacing.  Did they set up that scene right?  Could they have done it differently and been more effective?  I am not reading merely for enjoyment any longer so much as I am reading to learn.  There is no better tutor for an aspiring author than books, but it also changes the way we interact with them. 

Right now I am trying to find that miraculous balance between reading and writing, but I still find it elusive and evading. 


Shawn Gray said...

I can completely understand this addiction, as it used to hit me in exactly the same way. What changed? Well, Randy introduced me to the wonders of the e-book. I have e-books on my cellphone, and I read them whenever I'm waiting in line, waiting for the bus, waiting, waiting, waiting... You get the idea. But when I'm already where I need to be, the cellphone gets put away, and I focus on what I need to do. So when I'm home, I'm not reading unless it's the short period where I'm waiting for a ride. I'm writing or otherwise participating in something.

I never thought I'd become a fan of reading on a tiny screen like this. Turns out I was wrong. You should give it a shot.

Book Minstrel said...

Great advice regarding reading electronically. My phone is too small for that. I have looked at a Kindle but am waiting for the price to drop. I do however bring a book everywhere with me, so when I am waiting that is when I take advantage of it. Or for breaks at work. I am currently working on a schedule that balances reading and writing and doesn't neglect everything else in my life. Some day i will perfect the formula.