Monday, June 22, 2009

Today, I'm Just A Reader

It's been so long since I posted last!! Wow, life has gotten away from me in the last week. The kids finished school, my daughter had a birthday party, and our family escaped to Busch Gardens for a few days of family fun time. I've been in computer/blogging/writing/reading withdrawals!

I spent a few hours today wandering Borders looking for a book. I realized about half and hour into it that I was enjoying it as a reader instead of a writer, for the first time in over two years. Instead of wondering where my book would go, instead of thumbing through the first pages of the new releases wondering what in the first paragraphs caught the attention of an agent, instead of fighting the feelings of butterflies in the stomach, thinking this is going to be me someday soon...

Instead of that, I just looked at books. I wrote lists of books I wanted to buy and read just because they looked interesting, and not because they were repped by an agent I liked, or because they fit a certain genre, or because they were the books touted on blogs I felt I should read.

For the first time in a long time, the pressure was gone.

I suppose that's both good and bad, but it is what it is. For the first time in a long time, I am not close to being on those shelves. Not even in my head. The book that is done, that is still on submission with three agents, is done for me. I'm putting it away, and not holding my breath.

And while I'm not going to stop writing, I'm going to give myself a little slack this summer. I'm going to spend more time with my kids, more time reading, less stress trying to write the next best seller. After all, who says I have to be done with a new book in six months? Who says in six months agents will be ready to take on more risks, and publishers willing to publish more books? There is, for this time in my life, no deadlines. I might as well enjoy that.

I brought home two brand new books that I could barely get in the door before cracking open. And now I'm off to sit in bed and read one until my eyes can barely stay open. I am so excited to make time to read again. (I think it's only been two weeks since I finished the last one, but it seems like forever ago!!)

And I found, while picking up all those great books in the store and falling in love with the reading again, that I was excited about writing again too.


  1. "After all, who says I have to be done with a new book in six months? Who says in six months agents will be ready to take on more risks, and publishers willing to publish more books?"

    I've been thinking of this myself. I think it'll make a great blog post. :) I think you're absolutely right (write?). What's the rush? I am trying to do this myself and I think it's working. I think.

    I'm happy to see you back and sounding good.

  2. Your post really hit home for me. One of the big downsides of writing (for me anyways) is that I have lost some of the magic of reading. I used to get lost in a book for hours. Now I still read and enjoy and sometimes get carried away, but I also have that internal editor going "Oh that's a great case of showing vs telling" or "Why did they include all of this boring description". I never used to think like that and I hate that I can't turn it off. Then again, that helps to make me a better writer.

    So what two books did you snag this weekend? I'm always looking for recommendations :)

  3. I think it's good to take some time off and take the pressure off. I find that I think about it almost constantly which hinders my other activities.

    I need to get back into reading. I put all my books away to paint so they're hidden all over the place. I really need to get more organized.

  4. That's great news. You have to be able to enjoy reading to be able to enjoy writing, I think.

    Which books did you buy?

  5. I definitely miss reading just for the sake of reading. Like MeganRebekah said, I'd love to turn off that "internal editor" and just enjoy.

  6. I totally agree with the "what's the rush?" perspective. I've loosened my deathgrip on the "big dream" (aka- my life is a total and complete failure unless I get published SUCCESSFULLY.)
    Your new more relaxed mode is probably just what you need right now (like me), and your writing ability will still be there when you're ready to hit it hard again.

  7. It's nearly impossible not to read with an eye to the writing anymore. Do we lose that forever once we start writing seriously?

    Still, I'm trying to just enjoy great writing or a great story without analyzing why it got published or what made it better than mine.

    And the two new books are non-fiction. so they are pure pleasure, since I don't aspire to every write that.

    It is nice letting go of some of the self-imposed pressure. Three years ago I wasn't dreaming of publishing. Now, what's another year?

  8. I've been enjoying writing too, although I do have that internal editor.

    I am glad you are back and enjoying yourself.