Okay, Now I Get It…

I”m not sure where I’ve been. I’ve been somewhere, but where is a mystery. I haven’t been writing very much — 300 words is an amazingly good day — and I haven’t been reading much, or at least so it seems.

I think the idea that I’m not reading is driven by the fact that I’m returning so many library books unfinished. I start them, read for an hour, think, “Inh,” and put it in the bag to go back. Some of these books I reserved weeks, or even months, ago. It’s disappointing and disheartening to return them unread, after all that waiting and patience.

And it’s not the books. They’re good books. They’re just not what I want.

I think I ought to want them, since many of them get such excellent reviews (which is what makes me reserve them in the first place). I wonder what’s wrong with me that I don’t want to read demanding fiction. I beat myself up for my lowbrow tastes. (I beat myself up about everything; I’ve come to the conclusion that part of my psyche goes looking for reasons to beat me up, and it doesn’t actually matter what it is. I’m working on ignoring it.)

Then, today, I understood. I don’t want to get involved. I don’t want to read something that’s going to draw on a particular kind of emotional and mental energy. New-to-me fiction pulls from that exact energy source, and that’s why I’ve been resisting it .

I use that energy for my own writing, so I don’t see an end to this resistance any time soon. I suspect there’s a lot of non-fiction, and a lot of re-reading in my future.

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