Monday, December 19, 2011

Not reading to heighten observation

by Odilia Rivera Santos

It is Monday and nothing says Monday like trying something new. When you do new things, new things happen - I heard someone say this recently and it seemed very zen.
I decided yesterday to limit my reading to only one day per week: Friday. In the Julia Cameron book The Artist's Way, Cameron suggests writers write instead of read. I never read her book because writer how-to books have always been difficult for me to get through, but I think this piece of advice is worthwhile. I picked up a paper today and put it down upon remembering my 2012 resolutions begin today, and I instead discreetly glanced at fellow passengers and let walking meditation fill the void. After being an avid reader since the age of six, I have plenty of material roaming around in my head. In Spanish, a woman who behaves herself -- married, with kids, listening to her husband -- is called hecha y derecha. Today, I will use the term to speak of myself as a writer: soy una escritora hecha y derecha.
It is time to begin submitting my work on the regular to fancy invisible journals and to less fancy visible ones and to explore writing as a full-time, full-throttle, all-consuming adventure.
By not reading, I have cleared three to four hours per day to focus on writing, observing, interacting, and overusing the gerund.

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