I’ve been reading the same book for the last 7 weeks. That’s a new record for not finishing a book. In my defense, it’s a difficult book to read, a little scattered, a lot of personal experiences, a lot of filler text, but among all that, there are incredible pieces of wisdom and advice, especially for beginner artists regarding perfectionism and our obsession with attaining a “likeness” in our paintings and drawings. I’ll review this eventually.
If this book has taken me 7 weeks, at this rate I might read even less than last year. Do you know the effects in yourself of not reading books?
If you stop reading you will notice the following:
- Your concentration will plummet.
- You will constantly search for your words in a conversation.
- You will lose the trail of what you like to read, like a workout, getting back into it will be difficult.
- You can’t recommend books.
- You will begin many, finish few, get discouraged.
- You will spend more time on the internet.
- Your mind won’t have anchors and it will be constantly flying around without any substance. Much different from when you read and you ponder one idea that caught your attention, for days.
- … and the worst of all, you will stop writing.
So this is what happened last year. I can name only three titles of books that I completed and that is like 90% decrease of my reading habit.
Why? Last year was not a typical one. We spent six months of the year abroad, I hardly had any routine and I was heavily invested in drawing and watercoloring. But today, I realized the things I mentioned above and I don’t like it.
I was inspired by the recent video by Solange te parle. She lives in Paris and she realized last year she had stopped feeding on culture. Appalling right? in Paris and not submerging oneself in culture. Well, she gave herself a pretty hefty challenge of 4 movies, 3 books, 2 galleries or museums and one play or live show. I would love to match her ambition but mine is just to read two books a month and try to go to one movie. Of those two books, I must write short reviews either in my book log or in Goodreads.
The book I’m reading
Bouffer la culture by Solange te parle.
My Goodreads Profile
In the age of digital I still love notebooks too much. Like books, it’s difficult to not be attracted to the beauty of a bound paper object. The problem is when I buy notebook after notebook and they just linger in a box. I’m always saving them for the “big idea”. And when big ideas come, you know what happens?
I create a new website.
And then I have websites lingering in every corner of the web. I create them sometimes because I find it easier to start fresh than to change what is not working. This seems to be a pattern engrained deeply.
The disadvantages of starting something new are evident: scatterdness, a feeling of not finishing what I started, compulsive accumulation of new info to start “the new thing”, hours of building my new digital home including coding, designing, choosing a name, launching, feeling strange about it and ultimately feeling like it’s only adding to a pile that is already very high.
My friend gave me the notebook pictured below and I thought I might feature each one of my notebooks here, look through and rescue them from l’oubli. This notebook though brand new, has an old feel to it. No perfect trim, uneven pages, some are lined, some are squared and there are even some blank pages that you can detach. This morning I took my dip pen to write my name and since discovering the joys of the dip pen, I started to write slowly the introduction to this lovely carnet.
I won’t make it another journal. This will be a constant stream of very slow thoughts because when you write with a dip pen your ink runs out and you have to recharge it and in the second that you do that, you can do a double take on what you wanted to write, what word you wanted and sometimes you end up changing it just the moment the new ink touches the pen. It’s slow and lately I need slow.
So I will be featuring some of my notebooks, from the very old ones to the new (empty ones) to try to give them some reason for existing.
How many of us have read A room of one’s own? Or maybe not read it but quoted it?
After nearly 8 years, today I have a room of my own.
The funny thing is I don’t really know what to do with it. I’ve wanted it for so long. In fact I thought I needed it to fulfill my creative needs, but now I have this whole room to myself and I can only think:
I don’t want it full of stuff. I want it clean and simple.
I have a table for the computer. Exprience tells me I am not meant to think at my computer. So I have small standing desk where I will go to paint and draw. With my back against the monitor, I should be capable of do some distraction-free doodling.
Right now it’s time to close the lights and try to relax with fiction. The brain needs to rest.