The Muse: On Reading Good Writing

Hello readers! Long time no… Um… Write? I guess. Anyway, A here! I’m getting ready to head out on a two week international getaway with my main man, but I wanted to drop in and say “hey, I haven’t forgotten about you, Cactuslandia!”

I’m just busy and, frankly, a little less than motivated to write. C already covered this, but we’re up to our ears in rejections and my own writing has been stalled due to my transition to full-time work. (Yes, my metamorphosis to adulthood is almost complete. Now I just need to own a belt and sensible shoes… Oh, and buy a NEW couch for a change.)

Anyway, as much as I feel no inspiration or immediate desire to write, I’ve been continuing my push to read two books per month. Technically, I’ve been hanging out in the 1.5 books per month range, but, to be honest, I think I’d read a lot faster if more of the books I picked up were legitimately well-written. (No, this isn’t another rant about books that don’t deserve to be published… It’s more of a commentary on the written word.)

Sure, I’ve read some engaging stories in the past few months, but if the writing isn’t doing anything to propel my reading, it can take weeks for me to finish a novel. So-so writing that does the job of taking you through the plot but fails to keep you from checking how many pages you’ve got until the end of the chapter or the middle of the book or whatever just aren’t satisfying. Of course, this realization jumped out at me after picking up an article that demonstrated the power of, well, powerful writing.

Oddly enough, the article in question was in a copy of Vogue I read while getting my hair done. But it just captured me, you know? From start to finish. Granted, it was only about 5 pages, but the writing… It was really good.

You know when you get to the end of a story and go “wait, that’s all?” That’s the experience I want with every book I read, but that feeling has become more and more fleeting. Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m not particularly discriminatory during the actual process of reading. If I’ve paid for the thing, I’m gonna finish reading it, dammit. Maybe not the best attitude…

So, yeah… Reading good writing is the best. It’s the cure-all for content boredom. (Oh yeah, I work in digital content now, so that’s not helping me fill my quota of good reading material by any stretch of the imagination.)

That’s all for now! I’ll be back, and since Stratford is coming up fast, C and I will begin prepping Nerd Cactus HQ for all things Stratford/Shakespeare.

Stay tuned!

-A

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