A writer must write. A real writer must also read. Regularly and extensively. That’s what conventional wisdom tells us. That’s also what the writing gurus preach. Reading complements writing. One stimulates the other.
I have always been a reader. No problem on that front.
My problem, if any, might be that I tend to read more than I write. Of late, that seems to be the case anyway.
A latest tally shows that I have read about 30 books so far this year. And written 3 blog posts. And nothing else.
30 books, both fiction and non-fiction, spanning 10 months, is, I think, a fairly decent feat. Not including the regular news articles and various periodicals. 3 blog posts, on the other hand, is, pardon the pun, nothing to write home about.
Over the past several weeks, I had been totally consumed by a 600+ page tome on Hemingway. I thought I had read all there is to read, by or about Hemingway. Then along came this most recently (2017) published biography, the first one by a woman, Mary Dearborn. There are very few things I can’t resist, and a new Hemingway read is one of them.
Hence my reason for my writing drought these past weeks. I was too caught up with Miss Dearborn and Mr Hemingway.
But wait a minute, you might say. What about the past earlier months?
Same reason. Too tied up with reading – other books, other subjects, other authors. No time left for writing.
Do you buy that? I don’t myself.
Back of my mind, I suspect it’s all an excuse. Perhaps for some lack of motivation to write. Or perhaps I’m just enjoying the reading too much. Perhaps I have recently found one pursuit more pleasurable than the other, and am indulging in the one, and neglecting the other.
So I had resolved, that after my latest tryst with Papa Hemingway, I will not start reading another book. Not until I have written at least another blog post. I’m going to apply something counter-intuitive – Starve the Reading and Feed the Writing.
Perhaps, I could even offer this as a therapy for my fellow writers whose reading is going swell but whose writing isn’t doing so well.