Monday, February 2, 2015

Reading to Soothe the Writing Blahs

Since childhood, I have always used reading as a balm. Hungry, tired, angry, sad, scared, shy--whenever I was feeling something that could not be easily identified or remedied, I read. And I find that the habit of self-soothing with other worlds and other problems has not diminished now that I've reached adulthood.

I graduated on January 17 with by MFA. Yay, me. I really am excited and proud. And I say I'm happy to be free of packet deadlines and expectations. I can write whatever I want! Whenever I want! Which means I have been doing a whole lot of looking at Facebook.

And, I'm terrified.

So, I've been on a reading bender. I just finished Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. This book takes its readers across the world to Chechnya and across decades. I glimpsed a world I was not at all familiar with, through characters who were real, imperfect humans I couldn't help but root for. This story--so intricately woven--will take your breath away.

Up next: Garth Stein's new book A Sudden Light. Will it be as good as The Art of Racing in the Rain? For me, I always feel a little terrible comparing a book I loved to the author's next book because I feel like it's doomed to not be as good, even if it's really good. We'll see.

I'm hoping that all this reading will make me remember what I love about writing. Until then, I'll read on.

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