The difference between reading and writing
You may think it’s a simple distinction. With the one you sit down with a book and read the pages. With the other you sit down at the computer, with your notepad, your clay tablets or whatever tickles your fancy and you start/continue composing a story.
For some this might be true. It’s not always like that for me. After I had started writing more seriously, I found that I couldn’t read for fun any more. If you are an avid reader, you know that sucks all kinds of terrible.
The love of writing should not kill the love of reading
So, what did I find to happen? I was looking over the text of the books that I was reading. Trying to find the bits I loved, the bits I wanted to write myself. I was analysing sentence and word use, patterns, ideas, words. And at the end of the book I had no idea what the book was actually about.
Talk about a bummer, right? A few times I would start the book again, to actually read it, but that usually didn’t work. I had seen the words before. Deconstructed the sentences before. So the book was put to the side and I would grab another one.
This shit has got to change!
That was me to me at one point. I had gone through a few books this way, found things I really liked and might actually use, only to find that I would never use them because a) there was already someone using them and b) it wasn’t my writing style.
That was quite a revelation to myself. Here I was, trying to learn from other writers, and the only thing I had learnt in a few months was that it was all in vain. That made it clear that this shit had to change.
I have to admit that it took a while before I was able to sit down with a book and just read it for fun.
It’s creepy how such a dissecting habit can creep into your way of doing things, but I managed to banish it. I can now sit down and enjoy a book again, without looking at the structure, the elements that build the story. Occasionally something in a story strikes me, and then I consciously decide to look at that part but nothing else. After all, at times you learn something in the oddest places.
If you like to read, then I am grabbing the opportunity to point you to the books of the gentlemen who run this website with me, Will and Robert. And if this is not enough, there’s a whole library of naturist books waiting for you on another site I maintain. You can find that by following this link.
Wishing you a lot of pleasant hours of relaxed reading,