Ever since Saturday, I’ve been reading. Sometimes a page a day, sometimes a whopping 120 pages, but I’ve been reading. Even as someone who read nonstop in High School and moved away from books in college, I had no idea this is what it was like. Reading is like a dream you have that you catch vague details of, but try as you might you just can’t remember it in the morning.
But I remember it now.
A tip I had constantly received in my writing was in order to write, you had to read. I tried to wiggle my way out of it, saying if I did that it would take valuable time away from my own work. Yet I still had time for movies and the occasional video game so go figure.
In preparing for my 6th draft of my first book, I was willing to try anything to get some inspiration. A friend told me if nothing else seemed to be working, I should just pick up a book and read. I ordered a couple of books and haven’t put them down since.
I’m already a third of the way through Stephen King’s On Writing, and aim to finish up another large chunk of it before the start of my shift. Most importantly was his debut novel Carrie. Carrie is a short book at a mere 180 pages, and in spite of that I had never read it. I was aware of the differences between the DePalma film and the book, but never thought to read it.
I had been picking at the book for a few days and started Tuesday on page 60. Then the evening came and I just couldn’t put it down. I finished the book in three days, a new personal record which I hope to break soon.
What surprised me most about reading was just how much it tickled my brain. Every line it seemed rejuvenated my burnt out writing circuits. Ideas started coming on how to fix my book, I re-learned the language of prose and instantly picked up on the things in my work that so bothered me.
I didn’t consciously know the issue I took with my work, but there was that feeling while editing it. A feeling not of excitement but of boredom. I was bored editing my chapters because lets face it. They were boring. Now as I re-outline my work, the ideas that come don’t seem so boring.
This next draft may be a good deal shorter, but It will be so much sweeter.
Up next I’ll be reading Salem’s Lot, and that one I’m really looking forward to because I haven’t seen the movie. I’ll be just as surprised as everyone else.
Reading has changed my apprehension and despair about my book into hope and optimism. For the first time in so many months, I think this book may actually have a chance at being something special, and all because I finally got the courage to hop on the Reading Rainbow.
I intend to ride it all the way to Oz.