Jason Arnopp, a writer I follow on Twitter, tweeted last week that reading and thinking were just as much a part of writing as writing is.
That’s good to hear, because that’s pretty much all I’ve been doing this week. I read all the time anyway, and this Christmas week, with all my free time, and all my Christmas presents, I’ve been reading non-stop. I had felt guilty about not writing (I’m currently ill again. Too ill to be able to write, really), but now – I have something else to work on. And I can see it as work too. Whilst I enjoy the reading, I’m learning something. And what I read will be really useful when I get back to my writing.
As for the thinking….for Christmas, I bought myself a colouring book. Now this may seem an old present for a grown woman to buy herself. But I remembered when I was a child, I could achieve an almost zen-like state when colouring. My hands were busy, so was my conscious mind, but my subconscious just soared.
It’s a state some people get into when sewing, or knitting, or running. I can’t run at the moment, and have never been particularly skilled at knitting or sewing – not enough to let my hands get on with it whilst I think. So I got the colouring book. It occupies my hands, whilst I just think and plan. Its perfect.
So that was my Christmas. I planned to write, but I couldn’t manage very much. I did, however, get an awful lot of thinking and reading done. When I can write, I’ll be ready.