Once upon a time, I was a big book nerd. I won all the book-reading contests at the public library. You could find me on any given afternoon kicking back on my bed reading something. I think that was true at least up through college.
Then stuff happened.
First, I went to grad school and had piles and piles of required reading. By the end of the PhD, I was burnt out on reading. Second, I actually got around to writing fiction, my long-time dream. Between writing coaches and fan fic readers and the sheer joy of writing, I started spending every spare moment I had writing. To the detriment of my social life (and any other part of life). Third, I started a successful fan website and proceeded to obsessively work on that in my free time. Then those TV shows were cancelled and I cancelled my cable TV and went back to writing fiction again obsessively. Finally, I finally broke down and got cable again and started watching TV a lot.
Suffice it to say, I haven’t done a lot of reading for pleasure in the past thirteen years, unless you count the internet, and then, not fiction of any sort on the internet. I miss it. And yet I find it a big time-suck and don’t do it. I mean, if anything’s going to suck up all my time and be a huge detriment to my social life (or any kind of life, really) it’s going to be fiction writing.
I did some reading in Santa Cruz last week. Mostly because I was on vacation from writing and there was no TV around. I enjoyed it. Now vacation is over and I’m back to writing and TeeVee.
I tried motivating more reading by vowing to read X number of books in 2007 and writing mini-reviews of them in my LJ. That worked fine until moving and job hunting interfered.
Now I’m looking for a way to get myself to read again. It’s ridiculous, really. A pleasurable activity should motivate itself; and yet I can’t seem to get myself to do it. I did it in early 2007 by trapping myself on the bus twice a day without a television or anything to write. Now, there’s no bus. I thought of doing it by trapping myself on some exercise-machine thing without a remote control, but I’m considering buying a rowing machine, so that makes it tough to hold a book. You know the kind where your eye absorb words rather than having some Voice reading it to you?
I know what motivates me to do things I want to do but find it difficult to do. Accountability. Need to lose weight? Go to Weight Watchers meetings. Need to write a novel? Pay a writing coach Real Money to force you to report into her every week. That’s what I need in order to read. So pathetic, I know.