…you sometimes suffer after having finished a brilliant book. Everyone who reads, knows what I’m talking about. The book ends, and you feel wrecked, hollow and at a loss like a withered seed pot in an autumn gale.
The last thing to do then is to pick up another book straight away, but if you’re greedy (and hoovering) like me, you choose one and tap ‘play’, knowing it to be a mistake. The book you try to go for after the one that left you adrift does nothing but irritates you, regardless of how magnificent you’ll find it after a couple of days. So, if you’re yet to experience this, take my advice and spend a few hours in silence after a book that gave you goosebumps. Or listen to some music—anything but grabbing a new read straight away.
Another thing reading an outstanding book does -to a writer (unless your work is on the top of the best sellers’ list)- is to shove you into a slump. Though you know you shouldn’t, you compare your humble, little scribbling to the masterpiece you just closed, and all its flaws sprawl before you, reminding you of the enormity of what you’ve still got to learn. You hover on the verge of deleting all you’ve written because it can never be as good as.
That’s one way to deal with the issue I’m struggling with on daily bases -the feeling of not being good enough. Or rather, not being as good as I’d want to be. Reading/listening to excellent stories others have written helps not at all, of course, but one must read to learn how to write, and I rather give what little spare time I’ve got to a fantastic work than waste it on something that might make me feel a little better about my own writing.
I’ve always had this weird love/hate relationship with books. I love reading. I’d choose a good book over pretty much anything if I were made to choose. I’ve lived a thousand lives just because I read. Yet, the insecure writer in me sometimes wants to burn all books. Especially those I classify as “good”. I would regret such a vile act as soon as I tossed the match into the heap of books that make me want to exterminate everything I’ve ever scribbled myself, because it would mean burning to cinders friends and loved ones, arms that are always open when I need encouragement or just a comforting hug.
If you read this far –no, there was never any gist to this post. I felt like writing, but after having just finished a magnificent book, I couldn’t return to my script in the fear that I might indeed end up wiping the whole document clean.
While writing this, I've been listening to this
and felt better by every repeat.