Allow me to add another writer’s superstition to my list (not that I have a huge list, but I have a few quirks).

I’m no longer going to express any opinion on the work I hope to get done in days ahead. It’s a clear curse, a pox on my ambitions. Last Friday I said I hoped to start chapter 17 on Saturday and, well, Saturday fell by the wayside. But that was okay. There was always Monday. But on Monday I woke up with some kind of bug, feeling terrible, but not too terrible to go to work. Being at work took all my energy, so when I got home I ran a few chords through the guitar and called it an early night. Same with yesterday, substituting some goat maintenance and reading (Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon) for the guitar.

So if I dare venture something like that, send me a flame. Of course, if you do, I’ll feel obliged to answer it and that will eat into my writing time and… see how it works?

Speaking of reading… I have just rediscovered reading. I don’t feel like I read nearly enough, and I’d love to be like my wife, who brings home books from the library by literally the dozen, and plows through them all. Thing is, if I spent that much time reading, I’d never get any writing done.

Then there’s something else. I have trouble reading fiction. I tend to pick it apart, either being overly critical of what I’m looking at, or overly sensitive (“Why can’t I do something like this? It’s brilliant? I’m such a hack…”). So I usually read nonfiction for enjoyment.

I’ve been mentally beating myself up lately because I haven’t done a whole lot of reading. But a couple of days ago, I finished the book I Watched a Wild Hog Eat My Baby: A Colorful History of Tabloids and Their Cultural Impact by Bill Sloan. I really enjoyed it, and it put me all in the mood to read something. I felt like I’d rediscovered something special in reading once more. So yesterday I picked up a copy of the aforementioned Neal Stephenson book, which I’d wanted to read for several years now.

Then I realized something: I hadn’t been reading much because I’ve been busy writing. And not just any writing, but working on two critical stages of And/News; the back half of the Discovery process and the Chestbuster stage. Now that I’m in Cruise Control, I don’t have to worry about someone’s style contaminating mine or getting an inferiority complex from a particularly brilliant turn of prose, so I’m free to read again.

So I need to refuel my brain while I can, before the time comes to embroil myself in the Discovery process of something new.

That’s cool. I like being free to read again.

NP – Phishcast Internet Radio


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