Hi there! Today, a friend asked me what I had read lately and suggested blogging about that, but then I realized that I haven’t read anything since late November. Not even manga. It was actually a strange revelation. I haven’t read anything since I started getting disgusted with the whole writing/feedback process. The more I think about it, the more I notice a strange correlation between my writing productivity and how much I read (when one goes up, so does the other). Is this a common thing? Do reading slumps exist? Apparently they do, so allow me to ramble for a bit.
Don’t get me wrong… I’ve tried reading things off and on, especially when I wasn’t writing anything, but no matter how excited I was for a book, a few pages in and I was ready to quit. It was like watching a movie or a tv show (both of which can be great), instead of stepping through a portal and living in another world (what reading usually does for me). In other words, I’m seeing what’s happening, but I just can’t bring myself to care or participate. And I can’t even blame the books. It’s not like when I was an undergrad and had to slog my way through the “classics.” These are books by my favorite authors, things I’ve been looking forward to. I find it really weird.
Part of me wonders if maybe it’s some crazy delayed post-MFA depression or something. You know, the kind everyone warns you not to slip into? The kind where you stop writing and reading and doing all the things you planned on doing because what’s the point without having that community to help you along? I avoided it for about a year. I wrote steadily and read regularly. Is it even possible that it’s kicking in this far out from graduation? Maybe it is. But it needs to stop. I’m done with wallowing. Really. I swear.
Was I convincing? Didn’t think so. I am, however, getting slowly back on the writing horse. I admit that I’m not back to my usual schedule yet, but I’m getting there. Hopefully this means that I’ll be able to step through a portal into a good book soon. I haven’t had any trouble getting into the stories I’ve been critiquing, which I’m taking as another good sign. I don’t know what else to do except to keep trying until I find that book capable of yanking me inside.
What about you? Have you ever hit a reading slump? What book was the one that finally pulled you out of it? If it wasn’t a book, then what helped you? I’d love to hear your harrowing stories of breaking through the blocked portal! Also, if you have any recommendations for books that I should be reading, please feel free to send some titles or author names my way.