Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dangerously Close to Wanting Nothing

This past weekend I sat and stared at trees - giant poplars and evergreens swaying in the breeze like the ebb and flow of ocean waves. I didn't want to write, or read or do anything. I forget how refreshing it is to do nothing.

Most people see me reading and think I'm relaxing. I am to a certain point, but for me, as it should be with all writers, reading is work. I cannot simply shut my mind off, I'm constantly analyzing the story. How well does the author develop the plot? Do I care about these characters? How is the writing? I know there are literary junk food novels out there, but since most of them are incredibly bad, I can't enjoy them. It's the same way with movies. I think this is the price writers pay. In order to develop as the best writer he/she can be, they give up some of that escape reading used to give them. That doesn't necessarily mean I don't enjoy what I read, or unable to lose myself to a certain extent; it just means that the experience is no longer a total and complete recess of the mind.

Right now I'm planning on taking a drive down to Acadia National Park. I love it down there. I just want to watch the ocean and enjoy nature. The only hectic thing will be chasing a three-year-old around, which can be extremely tiring; but it will be worth it.


Sandra Ruttan said...

I went through that Steve. I had to learn to turn it off, and just enjoy. It isn't always easy, but I think once you've got the first book under your belt it gets easier - it was way worse two years ago than it is now.

Enjoy your drive. I can't shut my mind off either, fwiw.

Steve Allan said...

Sandra, I don't think I'll ever be able to go back to being just a reader. Oh well, like I said, it's a price to pay - but I guess it will be worth it.

Sandra Ruttan said...

You compartmentalize. If you find authors you really love.

At least, it's worked for me somewhat. Maybe I'm not 100% ever a reader, but 98% on a good day.

colman said...

Douglas Lindsay,author of Barney Thompson books -which you may or may not have heard of-said that he cant read any fiction as it depresses him because it makes him feel his own writing is inadequate by comparison.
As a reader only-I don't have that worry or concern.
What a bummer though -not being able to enjoy any other books.