Ten days ago, I broke up with my to-be-read pile. Our relationship was getting in the way of my manuscript. I was spending more time with other people’s words than my own, and I knew my story would never be finished and submitted if I continued to be seduced by shiny covers and beautiful phrases.
I committed to finishing my manuscript during Romance Writers of Australia’s 50k in 30 days challenge, held every year in June.
But the last few nights, I’ve found it strange to go to bed alone. Yes, I know Qwerty joins me, but generally he doesn’t come to bed until I’ve turned the lights out.
I’ve become accustomed to reading before I go to sleep, and reading my own words only keeps me in editing mode. I need something to switch me off from the editing, turn me back from writer to editor, and take me closer to relaxation.
So the to-be-read pile and I are talking again and it seems we’ve reached a compromise. No novels, no huge stories that will make me continue turning pages until the early hours of the morning, only to pick it up again the next day to continue reading when I should be editing.
I am allowed to read:
Craft books (for motivation or craft)
So to keep in the fairy tale mode as that’s where my current story lies, I’m reading Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber. I read Angela Carter when I was at uni so this is a delightful revisit. I know I have some Margaret Atwood short stories hiding somewhere on my shelves and I love Peter Carey’s short stories. Throw in some Janet Frame and my books are happy and I’m happy again.
And we’d be even happier if we had more bookshelves.