I’ve lost my reading skills. You might say WHAT? How is that possible? You’ve written how MANY books and published HOW MANY books and you’ve lost said skills? Well, I have a theory…
I write because I enjoy it, my creative mind takes over and I can write, and write, and write. Yes, I re-read it to check for story line errors, add things, tweak things, and to keep within the story itself…but I don’t READ to ENJOY it.
I READ my authors books, which I DO enjoy or I wouldn’t be publishing them…in fact, I have a confession, I’ve gone back to reread their stories from time to time because, I have my favorites…shhhh.
However, I realized after all the hard work of writing and publishing, I haven’t just read for MY enjoyment in a LONG time. I lost my reading skills.
I have a lot of author friends, some of who have been kind enough to send me copies of their books (thank you by the way, it IS appreciated). However, I don’t think I’ve had the TIME to read them because I do work, and work HARD at my own stuff.
My girlfriend is an author and a lovely woman (she paid me to say that, NOT). I took a wee bit TOO long to read her first offering to the public. I was BUSY. It caused hurt feelings, and, each time I was asked, I felt a stubborn resistance to even FIND the time. Believe me, I FOUND the TIME.
That’s just it…TIME. Apparently, I do a lot of work that people aren’t aware of. They SEE me on social media ‘playing’ and don’t realize I’m posting in groups (thanks for Facebook Jail BTW), promoting, chatting with authors and sometimes even socializing with friends. Sometimes it’s just up in the background so people can get a hold of me if they need to. They just see me ON there ALL the time and assume…well, stop doing THAT.
I actually do read, A LOT! I really enjoy doing research, watching biographies, documentaries, and movies on a subject…but that is ‘work.’ Fortunately, I enjoy my work.
Yesterday, after finishing up one of my author’s books, formatting it, and sending it off to the beta readers, I read for FOUR glorious hours from one of ‘the other’ authors that I have collected for thirty years. She died two years ago, but her stories will live on gloriously. The really cool thing about it, although I’ve read her books numerous times, I didn’t remember everything so it was like reading it for the FIRST time, and yet, not. Her books have a familiar feel and the stories are just marvelous. When I grow up, I want to be just like her…
So, I realized…I haven’t been reading just for PLEASURE in a LONG time and I need these little breaks…they help inspire me, make me work so that I can get back to my GUILTY PLEASURES (stop, you dirty minded readers, you), which has always been, READING. Fortunately, I have many bookshelves full of potential targets that have nothing to do with my ‘work,’ but have everything to do with reading…