Reflections on Reading vs Writing

IMG_6351As a writer, I love reading; it’s what led me to my career.  However, with deadlines and faster turnarounds to editorial suggestions and copy edits as well as increased responsibility for self/book promotion,  I often find myself sacrificing my reading.

Recently, I wrote an article called “Writers, Editors, Blueberries, Raspberries” for Canadian Children’s Booknews the Spring edition and as for many of these pieces, I investigated the process of the authors.  What startled me is how Sara Harvey writes.  Because she edits full-time for Orca, she treats her writing more as a holiday. She wakes up on a Saturday morning and first thing reads for awhile.  Not her own work but perhaps her favourite author, Meg Rosoff.  Then she writes.

I wish I could remember the second writer I read about, somewhere, perhaps on a blog–who dedicates the first part of the day to reading rather than writing.  It’s like upside down supper: dessert as your entree, then your savoury dish as the ending to the meal.

While I don’t know if I can make this total reversal, I am vowing to read more.  Reading is the ultimate staycation and since I’ve finished the “away” portion of my vacation in Newfoundland and my credit card needs to recuperate–I am throwing myself into reading.

So far I’ve read Whatever by Ann Walsh, The Shadow Queen by Sandra Gulland and Emily for Real by Sylvia Gunnery.  Currently I’m reading The Darkest Part of the World by Urve Tamberg.  Readers and writers out there, join me in devoting more time to reading fiction!photo  “Leave me alone, I’m working.”

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The Travelling Writer

IMG_6395This is the scene from the Valhalla B & B,

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near L’anse aux Meadows where Annie Proulx stayed for a year and wrote Shipping News. After a long drive, and a quick visit to the viking ruins at the national park historical site, we felt cold and tired and I spontaneously and unknowingly chose this special place to stay. A magical coincidence. While sitting in the bedroom that could have been hers, I looked over some 30 copy edit notes on this book: BFTE_authortype-opt2

I can’t say the creative spirit was really needed or used for this job. Still will Newfoundland inspire any new

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stories?

Who can tell? What I can say is that I wanted to be a different person after visiting. Someone heartier, more entrepreneurial, I wanted to plant rhubarb and potatoes, to knit mittens and hats, make jam from wild berries, and paint the outside of my clapboard sunroom pink.

Instead, I read more, threw myself into a locally set story I’m writing and ignored all those physical tasks that Newfoundland inspired me into wanting to accomplish. The rock made me want to be a different person. Writing makes me become someone else. Travel connects the writer into the possibility of an another identity.

And really, how can I not be affected by images such as this:IMG_6475

 

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