Thursday, October 15, 2009

Quit Reading?

Should we quit reading?

This post is a guest post by Margaret Traudt. (She's my daughter-in-love's mom and one of my best friends.) She wrote this on her personal blog and she allowed me to "steal" it for mine. (She also reads most of my work as a personal editor. Her editing information is below.)

"Last post I mentioned the book The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. She talks about how to bring out your creative side, and one of her "requirements" is to write everyday. (She says to write 3 pages, but I'm pleased if I finish 1 page each day.) One thing this writing accomplishes is to "unblock" your creativity. In other words, you're supposed to write about all the things, people, circumstances that are keeping you from being creative, so that once you've written about them, you've moved them out of your way and voila! you're free to be creative.

But, then she goes a little far and says that one thing that blocks creativity is too much reading! So, she recommends a season of reading deprivation so your mind can think about the things you want to create instead of focusing on what other people have created. Actually, I have to admit that she makes a good point. I find that I can really become wrapped up in a good book, or in a series of good books. Like lately! She doesn't say this deprivation has to be long term but until you've spent some time "creating" and you're no longer blocked.

I was giving some serious thought yesterday to trying this, but then because of a new tutoring student starting today I had to read Lord of the Flies last night. (It's amazing I'd never read it before because it seems to be required reading for many high school students. I think that trend may have started in the late 60's after I was out of high school.) But, I was able to finish it in less than 24 hrs. So, now, I'm back to considering the deprivation thing. I'm not going to give up my day-to-day readings that I'm already committed to, but I may have a season (a short season) with no "pleasure" reading. (Not that my day-to-day reading isn't pleasurable--maybe frivolous would be a better adjective--for the reading I'm giving up, that is.)

Hmmm--what will I do with that extra time? Is there something creative I should be working on? We'll see! I do have a sewing project started, or some knitting, or maybe I could do some creative cooking, or work in the yard, or. . . . .If you have an opinion about the reading deprivation, let me hear it. Have a great day!"

(Copyright Margaret Traudt, 2009. )

Editing & Proof Reading

Margaret Traudt


(402) 782 8973

What are your thoughts?



suzi.wollman said...

To quit reading would be like not breathing. The reading is the breath in and writing is the breath out. I love to experience other's special places and meet their special people. I'm afraid I can't go along with this one!

Margaret said...

Thanks, Suzi, for your comment. I totally agree. But...I was able to do a little sewing project during my deprivation week!

sandy said...

Interesting concept. I disagree because I think we can learn from the way others create. So I don't see any reading as 'frivolous'. On the other hand, if you do 'fast' from reading, why not use the time to write? Also, beware that you are reading INSTEAD of creating, something we artists tend to do!