On The Reading Of Books
I hold the firm conviction that a writer should read.
Read (practically) everything.
And no I won’t name particular books a writer shouldn’t read since it would no doubt involve branding certain books as absolute twaddle (i.e. crap), which would be rude.
I’m against rudeness.
To continue – once upon a time a long time ago when I was in college I took a class entirely devoted to the works of William Faulkner.
It was utterly exhausting. In part due to Faulkner’s work – which, though no doubt brilliant, is long.
I mean LONG. Long sentences, long paragraphs. Just plain ass long.
Also contributing to the utterly exhausting factor of the class was the professor himself. He was a prima donna type (I’m sure you’re familiar with those). Full of himself. Arrogant. Annoying. Fulla hot air and long winded.
I've entirely forgotten his name which would no doubt disappoint him no end.
The final factor in this long ago class’s exhaustion factor was The Idiot Sitting Near The Window. (Frankly I’m still somewhat uncertain whether this Idiot was male or female. Though if I hadda bet I’d go with male.
The Idiot was insufferable. He was, (so he announced every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday when the class was held), a Creative Writing Major. He intended to be A Writer and just didn’t understand why he was forced by an entirely unreasonable university to take classes reading other writer’s work when obviously they should be paying him to write masterpieces which they could then read and praise.
Naturally everyone in the class totally loathed this guy. I’m pretty sure it was the only bonding point existing between us and the professor.
I have no idea what happened to the semi-androgynous Idiot Sitting Near The Window.
Perhaps he became A Writer. Perhaps he’s Dan Brown, (not really.)
Perhaps he witnessed a mob murder and relocated to New Brunswick, (a lovely place I feel sure. I hope to visit it someday. Next year perhaps.)
Whatever happened to him I seriously doubt he’s still writing – unless he began seriously reading.
Much smarter people than I have said this (though yeal I’m gonna say it again): Read. Particularly if you want to Write.
And even if you don’t want to Write.
Just read. (And oh yes you do have time!)
And write. And read some more.
It’s really not that complicated, though it can be surprisingly difficult.
Life’s like that isn't it?
Day "B" of The Writing Life,
(In which, theoretically, I come up with twenty-six posts, each centering around a topic beginning with the next letter of the alphabet.
Today's was "B". For "Books". Though frankly I'm wondering whether I should have saved it for "S", "Semi-Androgynous Idiot".)
As always, your thoughts are welcome!