I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I read constantly, I make my living selling books, I am immersed in books, literally. Boxes of books totter over my bed threatening to collapse on me. I’m sure I’ll end up as one of those stories in the paper some day, ‘Recluse found dead under mounds of books’. But for all the ingestion of the printed word over more than half a century, not much has been produced in return. Occasional blogs, memoirs on the computer for my kids to find some day when they try to figure out who the strange person was that raised them, aborted stories and novels that never see completion. It’s not that I don’t have a lot to say, I’m a very opinionated person on almost every subject (though I do tend to change those opinions frequently).
So why aren’t stories and articles and scripts pouring out? What strange writer’s block has constipated the creative process for decades? I’m beginning to suspect that I have to stop reading much to start writing. I think that the literary tunnel to my psyche is so flooded by the torrents of writing coming in, that the struggling creations trying to work their way upstream to the outside are just swept away.
So to test this theory I am going to try to stop reading much. This will probably prove to be much harder than giving up cigarettes or heroin, I have been reading probably an average of a book a day for most of my life. I can’t envision what a life devoid of literary input would be like. Has anyone else had these thoughts and tried to stop reading? Are there support groups where we can go and say “Hi, I’m Roger and I’m a reader”?