Let me be clear on one thing: I love literature. I really, really do. That’s why I’m a writer!
But being a writer has also drastically changed my reading experience.
In the words of Billy Collins, “Readers read great work and feel appreciative. Writers read great work and feel a burning jealousy.”
I know I’ve talked about this before, but I just wanted to share that– in some ways– I grieve the true reader’s experience. It’s becoming more and more rare that I can just fully take in a great book with an open, generous heart. There is this little flame of envy that licks all over my body, and while I think it’s a bit uncharitable, it also both reminds me that I’m a writer and fuels my writing.
Though I am terribly grateful that I’m a writer down to my bones, sometimes I do long for those golden moments of childhood when I could just embrace a book with nothing but love. Don’t get me wrong, I still love books– with a deep, passionate, fiery love– but there is usually envy in that matchhead too. Envy and analysis: how did the author do that? Can I do that? What if I were to …
Sometimes I miss it. That’s all I wanted to say.