Reading and writing and inspiration overload

It is only six days into National Novel Writing month and already I have fallen off of the book-reading-wagon.  Six days.  I have been writing, I really have.  A lot, in fact. It occurred to me that Julia Cameron’s advice given in her book The Artist’s Way is spot on:  If writers stop reading for a time, they will write more. It’s not to say writers shouldn’t read because they should.  But at some point we have to put down the books and pen our own words, which is exactly what I’ve done for six days.  Once I stopped being such a book pig, I couldn’t stop writing.

But then alas I had to return an overdue book to the library (it was a book by Deepak Chopra and I loved this book. I had such a hard time parting with it; it was a week and a half overdue, and that’s after I renewed it the maximum number of times. It was the kind of book that  had to be absorbed slowly.

During my six days of I can’t stop writing, I also could not get out of my head my next book idea, and a shift I may want to make to this blog.  For reasons I won’t bore you with, this led me to want to read Julie & Julia, written by Julie Powell, the woman who successfully churned a blog-to-book-to movie.  I’d seen the movie, but hadn’t read her book.  So while returning my overdue library book, I found her first book, and her second one, Cleaving.

And since I was at the library anyhow, I picked up Lean In  because I may use the term lean in in a future blog post, as in “lean in to less” or “lean in to midlife“, or something like that.  And if I’m going to steal Sheryl Sandberg’s phrase, I figured I should at least read her book.

So there it is. My confession of I can’t stop reading even for the sake of focusing on my own damn book for one single month.  But the good news is, I skimmed Powell’s Cleaving in one day, and I can set that book aside now.  However, I am rather disappointed  that her marriage was in such turmoil by the time she published Julia & Julia.  Okay, it’s more than that, actually. I was full out distressed for an hour after reading Cleaving. It distracted me to the point of needing to do a google search to find out that they are still in fact together and it tainted my perception of Julie Powells, not that she cares. It’s my problem really, that I am wasting  thoughts on her life, instead of writing more in mine.

Things build on themselves, for sure.  The more I write, the more I want to write.  The inspiration floods me to the point where I wonder if I will get anything else done. But then the more I read, the more I want to read. One book leads to another.  Thank goodness I blocked off specific writing times at least, that leave reading or other distractions ‘off limits’. I guess it’s about balance, or timing, or something else that I haven’t figured out.  I’m lost in a sea of words and ideas and inspiration and I think I might burst.  I just have to make sure I burst onto the page in the form of a  finished draft by November 30, as that is the Nanowrimo goal.

* On Point NPR