And I wrote…but over the years as my reading waned, so did my writing. Both were sporadic and when I picked up either passion, I noticed the resistance from lack of use.
So I’ve started reading and writing again. Finding a balance for the two is a work in progress. Joyce Carol Oates, in The Faith of A Writer, shares advice for reading as a writer: “Read widely, read enthusiastically, be guided by instinct and not design. For if you read, you need not become a writer; but if you hope to become a writer, you must read.”
I understand and agree with the sentiment and necessity for having both in your life. Not wanting to spend a few hundred bucks to get back in the reading swing, I turned to two free avenues for now. When I got my kindle I downloaded mostly free classics I’d either not read or wanted to revisit. I returned to a longtime staple, the public library and began to borrow books again (or to download them from their website). Still, I felt a sense of distrust in myself and the choices I was making. Where to even begin to read good writing again to help me enhance my writing? I didn’t feel a sense of trust in the New York Times Bestseller list. I didn’t want to run down Oprah’s book club choices. So I turned to the few blogs that I started to follow at the end of last year. David Abrams, of The Quivering Pen, wrote two blogs, My Year of Reading: The Best Books of 2011 and My Year of Reading: Favorite Covers of 2011. The second struck a chord with me as my library time often consisted of me standing, head tilted to one side, attempting to read titles, but most often picking a book off of the shelf because of the color of the spine, the font, or the wrap around bit of the cover that I could see. Taking a leap of faith in Abrams and his choices, I have based my starting reading list from his two blog posts.