My Most Radical Resolution
There, I’ve said it. More than just said it. I put it in writing for all the world to see (or at least anyone who reads this blog).
That’s surely a radical resolution for a writer to make. Writers love reading and I’m no exception. So, why? Why would I make such a radical resolution? There are a couple of reasons.
The first is that I’ve lost a sense of balance. I read when I should write. Yes, reading is essential to writing, at least if you want to write well, but sometimes I find myself reading as an excuse not to write, especially when I get stuck on a plot point. Instead of figuring out how to get Jennie Connors out of trouble, I’ll pick up a book and let Elizabeth George get Barbara Havers out of trouble.
The second and, maybe even more important reason, is that I’m reading without thinking. I gobble up books like popcorn – anything and everything with a title or a cover that catches my fancy. With this resolution, I’m promising myself that I’ll read fewer books but read more selectively. For example, I’m going to set aside a month to read Willa Cather. I’ll read (in some cases, re-read) all of her books in the order in which she wrote them. I’ll watch her grow as an artist and as a human being.
In this process of reading fewer books, I’ll read slower. I’ll take time to savor the language and to stop and think about the ideas. I admit I’m a character lover when it comes to reading. I’m going to at least try to find the theme in a story, to ask what this story has to tell me.
So, that’s my plan for 2013. Will I stick to it or will it go the way of most resolutions? Who knows? I’ll keep you posted. (I’m sure you’re all holding their breath to know.) Maybe I’ll decide it’s a bad idea and abandon it. Maybe thinking about reading too much will take the fun out of it. If that happens, forget it. If reading ceases to be a pleasure, I’ll know it was a bad idea and edit this radical resolution out of my life
NOTE: Every time I start typing resolution, my fingers want to type revolution. Could it be Freudian?