Today is National Book Lovers Day. I have some thoughts about being a book lover, both from a writer and reader’s perspective.
If you’ve been subscribing my newsletter, listening to a recent podcast interview I did, or keeping up with my husband’s blog posts, then you know I’ve been experiencing a bit of a Renaissance in my writing career. I’ve regained my tenacity. I’ve re-calibrated my expectations. And, most importantly, I’ve recovered the joy.
I’m writing again.
The ideas are lining up like planes on a runway, waiting their turn, just like they used to. I’ve even designed book covers and taped them to a vision board to assist in their manifestation.
I’m reconnecting to the writing and reading community. Although I wouldn’t go as far as to say I burned bridges, I did pull back quite a distance when things weren’t going so well. It feels comforting to see so many books in my newsfeed again, to take part in the conversations, and to be engaged simply for engagement’s sake.
I love the book I’m about to birth into the world. I love the books I’ve already written that have been reaching new readers. And the older I get, the more comforted I am when I am surrounded by books, be it at a bookstore, a library, or my own home.
I’m also reading again. A lot.
Not that I ever stopped reading. More like scaled back. Read fewer books more slowly. To look at it retrospectively, I think reading was actually painful for a time. I so longed to create these stories and characters and settings that I almost couldn’t bear to take part in others. Soon, what began as painful turned into something more therapeutic. I missed reading. And I figured that even if I wasn’t currently writing, even if I didn’t have a single good idea, I could celebrate others’ good ideas. I could appreciate the act of reading. I could bide my time, and my ideas would show up somewhere in the pages of other books.
Which is pretty much what happened.
I read for professional reasons, too. If I was officially diving back into this business, then I needed to know the market. If I needed to get comfortable with the craft again, then what better way than being a student of it again through reading?
Reading, like writing, has become immensely joyful again. And as I reflect on these last five years, offering insight and advice for writers who may find themselves in my position, I would tell them to keep reading. Even if it was painful. Read through the pain. Read because eventually the pain turns to peace. It turns to power.
Put another way, it’s act of love.
I'm an author of commercial women's fiction and a writing instructor. My claim to fame: I can say the alphabet backwards.