I am a bookworm (probably not a massive surprise!).
I love to read fiction. Or maybe a more accurate description would be inhaling words??? Once I choose and start a book, more than likely I’ll be chomping at the bit to finish it.
Page-turners. Adventures, thrillers, science fiction, contemporary literature of the dilemma variety (goodness knows what the genre is actually called). Unless I’ve chosen a dud or it’s exceptionally long, I get through most stories in about a week of bedtime reading sessions.
Reading in the late evening, quite frankly there are only a few brain cells working at that time of night. Somehow a fiction book relaxes and transport me off to another world.
I have heard that you shouldn’t read at night because it stimulates the brain, but I haven’t found that. In fact if I don’t read I find it hard to switch off from the events of the day. Reading has been my ‘go to’ escapism exercise, from a very young age.
There have been times I haven’t read as many books (small babies, work or study). And because I know how absorbed I can get in reading I don’t usually go straight from one book into another, although I look forward to holidays when that’s ‘allowed’ ;-).
English literature at school opened my eyes to the idea of ‘hidden’ symbolism in stories, but I also just wanted make up my own mind about meanings. To enjoy fiction for what it gave to me.
But I have a non-fiction reading pile that has at least 10 books in it. (I’m not actually counting because that will depress me!). I have found them through recommendation, or discovery for my leaning and self-growth. And it’s not going down!
A non-fiction book seems a chunky, clunky and quite frankly sometimes oppressive prospect. I really struggle with academic texts, although some non-fiction books with storytelling type narratives are a lot easier to read.
When I have tried to read non-fiction in bed I literally only manage a couple of paragraphs before I need to re-read passages or my eyes start to close. So non-fiction is relegated to the day, but my opportunities are of the short and sweet variety; blogs, news articles.
The only way I have found to get any of it read is to set aside 10 minutes in the morning to read a short section. I also assimilate ideas through the burgeoning online catalogue of podcasts and videos, which I can fit into a few minutes here or there.
The irony is that I find writing neither fiction nor ‘fact’ easy. Both have proven to be struggle for me at times (although that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it!). I find myself swinging between both, in terms of what I feel compelled to write. But I end up with unfinished writing, the bane of my life!
I want to write those stories that suck you in. I want to write the narrative and lessons of life that can show how to live a more contentedly. I have to work out how to make my writing do that better. And work out what I can leave behind in the process.
I know I need to re-evaluate how I’m doing my writing too, to help me achieve my writing goals. Theoretically I know ways to make it easier, more productive, but I don’t seem to apply them though.
I know I need to use the snippets of time that I do have rather than long for lengthy periods that are practically non-existent.
I know that for both forms of writing I have to get better at planning what I’m going to write, rather than just turning up and hoping (which can work well at times, but be utterly rubbish at others).
I know that I need to write and move on, rather than spend too much time ‘fussing’.
I want to enjoy the writing process more. Which means I need to get on top of these aspects of the process so that I can.
I thought this post might turn out to be about whether I should just stick to one type of writing or the other. What with time pressure it is (VERY) tricky to do both. But I know I want to. Even if I’m giving myself a mountain to climb.