After my last blog post I seem to have gotten a bit self conscious about writing.
I was expecting, now that I’ve removed the barriers, to come out with something totally different – but it seems that I am still sitting, metaphorically, within the same pen.
I feel like I have promised to come back with a brand new hairstyle and, instead, I am returning with a barely noticeable trim.
I have been reassured by a few trusted sources that it takes time to find a voice so maybe this is part of the process. It has also been suggested that reading more is one of the things that can help this discovery and so today’s post might be a step along this path because ….
I am reading again.
It has only taken me six months and a small stack of must-read recommendations, but ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls has done the trick.
It feels necessary to write a blog post marking the occasion because I had forgotten how delicious it is to become completely absorbed in someone else’s plot. How there is a lag between putting a book down and picking your life back up when it still feels as if you are in another world. How you have to remind yourself that Emma and Dexter are fictional characters, Melissa, even though they feel life-like and well known.
This is the escapist element; the other thing I had forgotten is how reflective the whole process is. How reading is also about our relation to the subject and the characters; that the journey is twofold – into the story and into ourselves.
And so I managed to tear myself away from Twitter (which I absolutely adore but am slightly worried has contributed to my inability to concentrate on anything for a substantial period of time) and spent a few days curled up in bed (courtesy of a cold and then a bank holiday) hungrily turning pages; and it feels, now that I have reached the end, like I have been slightly changed.
Okay, ‘One Day’ might not have been ground-breaking literature, but it had me in tears (which doesn’t happen often), and it made me feel as though I was sharing in two people’s stories, and it got me thinking about life and love and hope and pain –
I have always thought that you have to experience something in order to write about it, but maybe reading is so important because it gives you another way in?
Amongst a million other things.
So, anyway, I am now convinced that six months without books is quite enough for one lifetime and reading needs to be back on the priorities list. All suggestions will be gratefully received and, whilst I don’t want to spoil the ending, ‘One Day’ is a beautifully touching story and one which I’d definitely recommend.