Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Not Writing--READING

In my quest to find stuff to do besides write (since all of you know I'm just NOT going to write anymore), I've come across an AMAZING pastime! Really! In fact, it's so great, you all just got to try it!

It's READING. Yup. Picking up an actual published book, opening the cover, and reading it. Amazing stuff, really. Even sometimes brilliant. Take, for instance, the series I've begun lately. It's a middle grade set of adventures, one I've been planning to read for a while. Cressida Cowell's HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. And it's good. Funny, silly, imperfectly illustrated, but I read the first chapter of the first book to my kids, and my son tried to read the rest of it in one night (he's seven, but he reads more at the third grade level). I wouldn't let him, either, not until I was finished with it. I haven't been this possessive with a book since Harry Potter.


I've got a whole list of other books I'm waiting to read, too, including the rest of this series (I'm now halfway through book 2, HOW TO BE A PIRATE). I also want to reread all my SHINOBI LIFE books my sister sent me, along with a whole list of books other people have been recommending to me for years. Anything to keep from writing again!

I know what you're thinking, though. "If I read, I won't have time to write. And writing is the most precious thing in the whole wide world to me." Then again, if you're here, reading this awful blog post, you aren't writing either. And wouldn't you want to read something better?

So many writers don't do it, though, for OH so many reasons:

1. That thing I said before--it will take precious time from their own writing. (And they've already cut out exercise, eating, and sleeping.)

2. Nothing compares to the brilliance of their own writing, so when they read some published book they find themselves repeatedly disappointed in the author's lack of talent.

3. Reading just gets their panties in a wad because such a craptacular book was published, while their manuscript remains unnoticed and rejected, even though it's infinitely better.

4. They fear they might like something in another book and accidently imitate it. And their ideas must be original or they aren't real writers.

5. They've misplaced their Kindle, and nobody reads real paper books anymore. Do they even sell real paper books anymore? Maybe at Goodwill, or something, but that is way too low class for a real writer.

6. They can't afford it. Every spare penny goes to copying and sending manuscripts by snail mail. Or alcohol.

7. Reading might make them forget, even for a moment, how miserable they are as writers, and true writers are never truly happy. Alcoholics, maybe. Happy? Never.

So, I guess I'm not a real writer. I don't even have the alcoholic thing down, dammit. I'd wallow here, of course, and make this blog entry twice as long, but you don't want to read that.

Come to think of it, I don't want to read that.

I'll just comfort myself with a good book instead. And maybe I'll learn how to be a pirate while I'm at it, thanks to Cressida Cowell.


  1. I don't see, actually, how one could be a good writer without loving to read.

    I read. That's one reason, when I sit down to write, I usually have a good idea what I want to do and how. Or I presume some part of my brain does.

  2. I've been meaning to pick up that series for a while and now this has clinched it that I should read it. Thanks for the reminder!

    Your adventures of "not writing" are hilarious! I'm glad you're writing them down. (And I hope that a lot of this is ironic and you're writing down other things, too. Anyone who spends this much time thinking about "not writing" and being so funny about it should probably be exercising that writing bug.) :-)