Reading Deprivation

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For writers, reading is a way of life. We read early and often. We read, we write. We check our media contacts, read newspapers or magazines online or in hard copy, then read a text of something similar to what we are working on in our own writing. If we stop reading, it’s deprivation.

It’s a paradox that by emptying our lives of all that text and distraction, we are actually refreshing the wellspring. By absenting ourselves from all the media, we get in touch with our inner selves, which is where all the creativity comes from. By keeping the inflow to a minimum, the outflow improves. Our true thoughts and feelings will begin to penetrate and come out in new writing, running freely. I knew a playwright who would take off his shoes and socks and stand in a running stream with a paper and pencil to literally get his flow going.

If you find not reading difficult, and many writers do, here are some suggestions:

.listen to music that has no words

.sew

.repot plants

.cook a complicated, time-consuming recipe and then

.invite friends to dinner

.watercolor

.rearrange the kitchen

.exercise

.meditate

.dance

After a number of these activities, sit down and write again. Notice any differences in your feelings or content. Your writing may benefit.

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