Reading and Writing
Heck, today is just going to have to be one of those days when I simply type something out for the sake of typing. That isn’t to say that I might not turn this into something with a little more purpose and value. However, to do that certainly normally requires that I have some measure of inspiration.
Having spent time yesterday reviewing, or at least ending a review started the previous today, I have some hope that this will become something of a mainstay. I have more than one location where I have the need for a review on an ongoing basis. However, I also have a reading pile that seems to have become a source of more stress than enjoyment. I read one book and accumulate three more. It doesn’t help when those books seem to be endless – despite apparently only really running to two or three hundred pages.
Take the book I’m currently reading on the subject of ITIL Continual Service Improvement. This has to be a book that someone has decided to write while I’m reading it. I can’t understand how I always seem to get through only a dozen pages a day and yet I never seem to get closer to the end. How, in all honesty, can something like that be possible?
I have so many fiction books I’d love to be reading, but the work related stuff simply has to get in the way. I have that book on the last Sherlock Holmes case, the one that got made into a film. I have the murder mystery book about the ghosts. For heaven’s sake, I have the book about the Imperial Guard I would dearly like to get back to and also the one with the huge tank. Those have been begging for my attention over the longest period of time. I’m prepared to believe that might even have formed part of last year’s reading.
I have to get better at reading with speed and purpose. I realise that reading at speed might mean that I get less out of the experience sometimes, but if I need to get any value I could always read a book again. I feel I have to get better at skimming through the content and garnering what knowledge I can from the first pass.
Heck, maybe ITIL comes into this… Faced with the raw data of a book, the first pass should provide me with information. If I need knowledge, then I can go at it a second time. Where wisdom comes from… well, that would be when stuff really sticks. I suspect wisdom doesn’t come with re-reading. Wisdom comes from writing and taking notes. That sort of thing has nothing to do with devouring a simple novel or a slab of short stories.
If I feel the urge to write something down it will come from reading something with a measure of self-improvement mixed in. Or, I may need to take notes when I read through a game supplement or adventure, knowing that I will have to run it at some point. Recollection comes more easily after writing something down a few times, which I find an ideal method for consolidation after coming up with a new password.
So, here I am, writing. Not writing with purpose, but for the simple sake of writing. If I linger, I’ll have the thought cross my mind that writing with genuine with purpose seems to allude me. It seems like the longest time since I last wrote something with genuine intent, to write something to order.
In truth, that isn’t true. I did write for the Dracula Dossier, but that feels like an age ago. It was an age ago! I started working on that last December and finished the first draft of everything over the festive break. November strikes tomorrow, so that means 11 months have passed.
I disappoint myself with that kind of inertia and cannot hope to improve as a writer without practice. Like speed reading, ‘speed writing’ is not something that I’m going to perfect just thinking about it. As with my reading pile, I have a bunch of writing that I know I need to do. My game ‘The Dee Sanction’, for example, has been waiting a year since I completed a first and very brief draft. I have no excuse and nothing worthy enough to justify the lack of progress.
I suspect that will come next, as part of this process of writing every day.