Reader Block

I find it’s difficult sometimes to keep a writing schedule, especially on a busy week with lot of things going on. I realize that people who are able to keep a lot of balls in the air are the ones who are routined and keep a tight schedule. But writing is not one of those things that can be regimented. At least not for me, a dabbler in the art. I find times that I am inspired to write, the writing comes easier as opposed to times when I force myself.

One of the problems with writing for this blog is that I’m not doing the reading that I’d need to do to write here on a daily basis. Apparently I’m not alone. I happened upon this essay by Geoff Dyer: “Reader Block” which summarizes the problem. It even directed me to the proper term for the affliction: “the near-dyslexia of current reading habits” coined by George Steiner in The Uncommon Reader.

Dyer is inclined to think that the affliction is permanent. I have always believed otherwise, hoping that the right book will make me fall in love with reading all over again. It’s funny how all avid reader suffers from the same problems. The accquisition of too many books. The feeling of having nothing to read, even though your shelves are filled with unread books. It speaks of the era we live in. We have too much going on. Too many streams of information vying for our interests, too many options, too many paths to chose from. The trick is finding the ability to narrow in our focus and ignore competing streams of information. One has to have a system, I hope to develop a system that works for me this year.

The other thing I have to remember is the ability to set aside time for myself. I spend a vast majority of my free time doing things that I “should” be doing. I train for an half-marathon, I work out, I clean, cook, and procrastinate on doing laundry. I read books that I think I “should” finish because I’ve already start them. I worry about other things I should be doing. I spend very little time centered on myself and what I want to do at the moment. I took a yoga class, ran and spent time relaxing this weekend, and while half the time I worried about how much time I had left (I had somewhere to be directly afterwards) I enjoyed how me-centric those activities were. I wondered why I didn’t do this sort of thing more often, and wished that I had more time and less places to be. The key I think for me is to remember to wake up early on the weekends and spend that time focused on myself.



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