I have a problem.
OK, I have a lot of problems, all right? But I’m talking about a specific problem. You’re probably not licensed to help me with those other problems.
See, I’ve been writing a lot lately. It’s kinda what I do. I tend to go in spurts, though. Sometimes I’ll be in full-on “read” mode, and sometimes full-on “write” mode. But this is the annoying thing: When I write, I still want to read.
Except I can’t.
There’s this thing, maybe you’ve heard of it: Linear time. There’s only so many hours in a day, and they usually fall in order. And a lot of my hours are filled up, appropriately, with my ministry. That doesn’t bother me most days. I have only so much free time. I suspect your life is similar to mine, unless you’ve escaped the bonds of linear time.
If you’ve figured out how, could you share your secret, please?
Anyway, I’ve found that when I write, I don’t have the ability to read. My time and my energy flow into creating worlds, so I just don’t have the ability to enjoy the worlds others have created.
And so as I sit and type and create worlds, hundreds more sit on my nightstand and the shelves around my house, begging me to visit. They plead with me to open them up and breathe life into them with my imagination. And what do I say?
“Sorry. Too busy making more worlds for other people to ignore on their shelves.”
Gee. What a considerate guy I am.
But if I go and read those books, then what? All the worlds inside me get bottled up, and they don’t like that. They itch to be created. The ache to be formed from ideas into words. And they get a little unruly in my head if I don’t get them out.
Maybe my head just isn’t a good place to live. I know I don’t always appreciate living there.
I usually deal with this by going through those fore-mentioned spurts. Time to read! Now it’s time to write! Do a month of reading, and then a month of writing! Get those novels read! Push out those short stories! Move! Move! We don’t have time to just sit and stare! Worlds hang in the balance!
If you’re a writer, how do you handle that balance? Do you find it as difficult as I do? Or have you transcended the need to sleep?
If you’ve learned that trick, I’d love to learn that one, too.
One thought on “Creating Worlds OR Visiting Them”
For myself, I’ve slipped into a hybrid mode: When I’m writing, I read non-fiction, fooling myself that I’m “researching” for my own writing. Since I’m not researching other fictional worlds, there’s no danger of taking away (read: stealing) ideas. If I’m researching non-fiction, well, then, I’m being a good writer. (Good writer! Goooood writer!)
The downside is I only get one world to read about: The real world. The good news is that this world is so rich in history, news, and the stories of people’s lives, that there’s a LOT of stuff out there.
Than, and I won’t get sued for plagiarizing.
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