As much as I love writing, sometimes I hate it.
After bellyaching for a while about how I don’t know what to do with the feedback from my beta readers, I decided to take the cure. Once again, my weekday calendar contains a slot for writing from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. (it’s my ROW80 commitment for the next few months). I might use the hour for editing, creating new scenes, working on short fiction, writing blog posts, researching clubs in San Francisco (for the novel!), watching fun cat videos…
Last week I wrote for three of the five weekdays and over the weekend. Nike admonishes us to “just do it”—effective, perhaps, but not always pleasurable. Like any challenging endeavor, it requires a tush-in-the-chair, hands-on-the-keyboard, toss-the-cat-off-your-lap dedication that can be downright squirm-inducing.
What your bookshelf says about you
On to something more lighthearted. I stole a whimsical idea from Kourtney Heintz (who in turn was inspired by Jenna Bennett). The exercise is to describe your life using only the titles of books you’ve read in the last year.
Before the advent of Goodreads I would have had trouble doing this, since I usually can’t remember the name of a book even while I’m reading it. Here’s my list, gleaned from Goodreads. (I cheated a tiny bit and included two books I started in 2012 and finished in 2013.)
Describe yourself: Girl, Interrupted (Susanna Kaysen)
How do you feel: Homesick (Eshkol Nevo)
Describe where you currently live: Lunch Bucket Paradise (Fred Setterberg)
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides)
Your favorite form of transportation: The Water’s Lovely (Ruth Rendell)
Your best friend is: Olive Kitteridge (Elizabeth Strout)
You and your friends are: Cleaning Nabokov’s House (Leslie Daniels)
What’s the weather like: ’Tis (Frank McCourt)
You fear: A Visit From the Goon Squad (Jennifer Egan)
What is the best advice you have to give: Talk Talk (T.C. Boyle)
Thought for the day: How to Buy a Love of Reading (Tanya Egan Gibson)
How I would like to die: [Via] Things That Fall from the Sky (Kevin Brockmeier)
My soul’s present condition: The Double Bind (Chris Bohjalian)
This is a fun reminder that, in a very real sense, we are what we read.
What does your reading list say about you? I’d love to see what was on your bookshelf in 2012 or hear about what you plan to put there in 2013.