distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

The #1 Reason I Became a Writer

Hands down: Books! How could I have forgotten?

In the past week or so, I’ve recommenced my love affair with books. I’ve been so jumbled up in my own head about what I have or haven’t been writing that I, inconceivably, let go of how much I love reading. It began, in spurts, with the short stories in The Knife Thrower. Then it hit full force with A. M. Homes, continued with more A. M. Homes, and now I’m halfway into After This by Alice McDermott. And though I can’t remember how it started when I was a kid, it was insatiable, the devouring of books, and what else would a person who loved books so much want to do but try her hand at writing more books?

I will fully admit it turned out to be harder than I imagined. Not the writing so much as the publishing. But it’s not mattering to me right now as I turn these pages. I mean, sure, I wanted to write because I was too shy to talk, because no one understood me, because I loved to do it, because I couldn’t help it, all those reasons, and more, but the first, always, was the pleasure that came from a good book.

Funny thing: all this reading has gotten me feeling inspired to write again. I don’t want it to stop. Yet in the meantime…

Must read another chapter before bed!

7 responses to “The #1 Reason I Became a Writer”

  1. I have had this same reawakening re: books and writing in the past few weeks. I was completely over writing for a few months there – just couldn’t have cared less – and reading suffered the same fate. But when I forced myself to start reading again, the desire to write came back!

  2. I agree. I’ve just tried to get serious about writing this year and already I’ve found I’m devoting less of my spare time to reading and more to writing. I think for all of us it’s important to keep a balance in our lives and don’t get so focused on one aspect of our lives that we miss out on everything else there is to offer.

    Good luck with your writing.


  3. Every word of this is SO true. The publishing aspect can totally ruin the writing for you if you let it. Sometimes, you have to step back, pick up a book, and let yourself fall in love with words all over again.

  4. This is great to hear. I agree with Kelli about letting yourself fall in love with words again – that’s a wonderful thought. Hurray!

  5. I just did a post like that…sort of. I am struggling with the desire to write and the lack of time/focus/energy. Reading helps me at least keep a toe in.

  6. I’m so happy for you. It makes my heart beat a little faster as I know the feeling so well. For me it’s the times when I allow myself (yes allow – how ridiculous is that?) to spend time just looking at other people’s artwork and not doing any myself, which usually coincides with me feeling like I hate art and should just give up. Looking at what other people have done always turns those negative feelings around. It’s my love of other artist’s work that really makes me want to create.

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