Filling the well

It is all very well to complain of an empty well. It is another thing to do anything about it.

After last week’s dirge I was hoping to be able to write something more cheerful here today. It seems, however, that my introspection is taking a rather gloomier turn as I contemplate my lack of creative intake in recent times. To put in in simple terms, I’m not reading enough.

I do get through a decent amount. Problem is that, recently, my reading has been of manuscripts for the editing, and I don’t think you experience them in the same way as you do a finished, off the (library) shelf paperback. The books I get for paid work are good and interesting but I’m reading them critically, looking for misplaced plot-holes and anomalous punctuation. I’m not taking them up and getting sucked into the pages.

Because that’s how you fill an empty well: you lose yourself in a flood of words, in worlds, in mysteries and miracles. Not just through books, but through all sorts of art; TV and films that you let wash over you and carry you away to distant shores.

I’m not doing that. I’m buried in technical detail, not experiencing, not learning. No wonder I’m feeling a little dry, for there is no wonder in my life.

So what do I do about it? Why, I read more, of course.

Except that’s easier said than done. Reading is a habit, a practice, that I’ve fallen out of recently. And it is a high horse; a long way to fall, a difficult beast to remount.

But I must get back on board; I must read (and watch, and listen) for pleasure; I must realign my time in order to refloat that damn boat.

For once begun I’m hoping a trickle will become a flood and I’ll be sailing the high seas for adventure and ideas will be two a penny.

But for now they are rare and precious indeed.

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