Eildon Rhymer (rhymer23) wrote,
Eildon Rhymer
rhymer23

Reading

I have written over half a million words of fanfic in the last year. For the most part, this has felt wonderful. I went through a very slow period with writing in the year before I discovered SGA, so it was wonderful to be bursting with ideas and to want to do nothing but write. However, I've realised in recent weeks that this has come at a cost: I don't read any more. In the past year, I think I've read barely 4 or 5 novels, and all but one of those were when I was travelling, forcibly removed from my computer. I've also read barely a fraction of the fanfics that I want to read. I have a reading list a mile long, some of them going back a year.

I've always been obsessive. When I'm consumed with the urge to do something, I do it to the exclusion of all else. But I don't want to exclude reading. I really want to read all this stuff, but when I come home from work, bursting with words that want to pour out, there's no silencing them. But, quite apart from the fact that I want to read, it's also not fair to the writers of those stories to constantly ignore their work. Involvement in fandom goes two ways, and at the moment I don't feel I'm contributing anything beyond writing.

I don't know what the long-term solution is - though breaking my long-held "never read stories until they've been posted in their entirety" rule will be a good start - but once I've finished posting On the Road to Come What May, I propose to take several weeks off writing, and just read. I'm away for another week at the end of September (science fiction role-playing for 8 days straight!), so I'll be very reluctant to start writing a new long story before then, anyway, so the timing works well. So no writing* in September, just reading. Right. That's a resolution, then.

* Though if an idea for a one-shot leaps out at me - something I can write in a single sitting - I don't think I'll be able to turn it away.

Chapter 2 coming later today, by the way. Er, I mean, chapter 1 (which is the second part to be posted) coming later today. Probably about 6 p.m. UK time, since I almost got it ready before work this morning, but not quite.

EDIT: Musing further on this today, I realise it's not just reading that's fallen by the wayside. I've been to the cinema just once in the last year, and that was during a LAN party when I wouldn't have been writing, anyway. I've got a list a mile long of DVDs I want to watch, but never get around to. I've been just twice to LARPing in the last year, and have missed over half my Morris dancing sessions. I've had occasional days of obsessing over two-player console games, but haven't played any longer computer games in the last year. I feel quite amazed and rather disturbed to realise all this. I love writing, but... wow. I really need to fix this.
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