… to reading.
Back in July when I was making my push-to-finish-the-novel (which turned out to be a push-to-“finish”-the-novel) I started going to a nearby coffee shop to see whether leaving the house would increase my productivity. (Answer: somewhat.) Well, just down the street from the coffee shop is the library — i.e., my crack house.
Once I realized I would be driving by there pretty much every day, I went online to see if the library had any of the books I’d been wanting to read but wasn’t quite curious enough about to actually buy. And they did! So I put a few — okay, SIX — of them on hold, and I went on with my life.
Then the emails came. “Your book is here! Come pick it up! Yippee!” Or something to that effect. One after another after another. Soon I had a stack of 4 books next to my work station — okay, my COUCH — at any given time, and they were all beckoning me to read them.
Normally I’m a huge proponent of reading — it is, after all, a gateway drug to other wonderful but dangerous activities such as broadening one’s horizons, sympathizing with people different from oneself, and even developing an imagination. But I was getting in too deep. I would stay up late to get to the end of the chapter. I would blow off my morning writing session, telling myself that what I was reading would stimulate my mind for the afternoon. Then I would blow off my afternoon session, reasoning that I still had all evening to work. Then I would read through dinner and after, and the book would be done, and I would feel such an immense sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that I didn’t even care I had lost a whole day.
Until, of course, I looked at the calendar and realized that I had lost a whole day. MY NOVEL had lost a whole day.
So I’ve come to a decision. From now on I will only check out ONE library book at a time. When that book is finished, I can return it and check out another one. No more binge-reading an entire stack in a week. If I should run out before the next book comes in, well, then I will just have to content myself with something from the substantial piles by my bed. (Oh yeah, I OWN plenty of unread books too. The library’s just a bonus dealer.)
Above all, I must combine this new policy of book monogamy with SELF-DISCIPLINE. (Putting it in all caps make it more serious, right?) No more blowing off writing sessions. No more negotiating with myself. The most important book in my life IS MY OWN.
ARE YOU LISTENING, YOUNG LADY?!
Good. Now get to writing!