February 13, 2015

Writing and reading

One thing that’s painfully missing from my Enjoyable Things (yep, it’ll most likely end up being a series of posts) January 2015 piece, is books read. Or stuff read at all really, because there hasn’t been as much of that going on as I’d wanted. My Instapaper queue hasn’t been this long in years (seriously), and although I read fiction every day, the sessions are short and abruptly stopped by the fact that I’m already pushing it in terms of hours slept per night.

Reading needs to be scheduled, that’s the case for a lot of us. How often do we find the time to read even longform articles? Not as often as I’d want at least, which probably is one reason why short posts are the norm online these days. Well that, and the need for a ridiculous quantity of posts, rather than of words neatly strung together. If you want your site to be successful, publish 20+ pieces per day, that’ll keep ’em coming. That’s the general advice at least, and it works, assuming the posts you do publish isn’t too atrocious. Luckily those “rules” don’t apply to a personal site like this one, because you come here for my charming wits, or… Or I don’t have a clue, some of you are clearly here for my books, but the rest? There’s probably help for you out there, I guess, but I’ll have you here as long as you’re willing.

Believe it or not, but there’s a point to this rant. You see, one of the big reasons I’m behind on my reading is that I’m writing a lot these days. Less and less of those words end up on this very site, although I’m sure that’ll normalize in the near future. I’ve got all of 2015 mapped out for writing, which doesn’t mean I’ve quit my day job (as if I ever had one of those) or anything. It does eat away at what used to be free time, more often than not spent reading, which brings me back to the lack of that on my January 2015 list. And, incidentally, the lack of commentary pieces on this very site, I might add.

It’s fine for the time being. Having the somewhat tough writing goals that I’ve set up is helping me focus, because I always did perform best under pressure, with a looming deadline. For some reason I had to remind myself of that, which I did last summer, by completing a first draft of a novel in 30 days. With that in mind, I’ve made myself a schedule that mixes writing projects with revisions and edits, for the whole year.

Madness? Hubris? Doable?

All of the above?

It matters little right now, but a month and a half in, I’m on schedule. The shock of it all, if you’d excuse the expression, is wearing off, and the writing’s settling as the craft it is. That means I expect the Instapaper queue to shrink, books to be read into the wee hours of the night, and coffee-induced blog posts to be composed at a more regular interval.

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere. There is also a newsletter.