Imagine the painter at an art gallery—The musician in a concert crowd—The writer between pages of a book.
What to they see? What do they hear? What do they feel?
It would be logical to assume they all have some deeper insight to each experience and in turn, procure more information than say, the casual fan.
Art of course is subjective, so the objective is not to tell you what to see, but for you to see the most you can.
Pondering on my own growth as a writer, I was inspired to make a short list of tips to possibly help you on your literary journey 🙂
1. Read with your spine, dwell on the unimportant.
In preparation for this site, I had to re-haul my writing style. Online readers are merciless, and understandably so; for there are many other sites one could be—sites that gnaw louder and louder every time a second is ripped away from that gleaming abyss of… online productivity.
However, having faith in my soon to be beloved readers, I kept somewhat true to my style but structured the site in order to merge with the nature of an online reader. This made sense.
But the exact opposite consideration should be placed when entering the world of a literary artist.
One must approach this world with the wide eyes of a child. Of course, this also depends on the quality of writing, but always leave room to be surprised.
2. Don’t read with the primary goal of finishing
Years back when reading became a fixture of my daily routine, I slowly became aware the endless mounds of literature that required my attention. Considering the long-term profit, I purchased an e-reader and acquired all my books at once.
As you can imagine, a tremendous sense of relief flickered right before the flood, the kind familiar to those times you manage to gather all the tools necessary for an impressive task, but keep the task itself as a faint reality far far away.
But as soon I started to actually read, I noticed a change in my absorption. I was beginning to treat each book as an item on a checklist, a golden star of achievement—as if by finishing quickly I would speed up the process of creating my artistic identity.
This mistake robs the reader of growth and the writer of proper appreciation. To read one book as if there is no other; doing this for one book is much better than speed reading through ten.
Few books are worth reading. Harsh. But refreshing… isn’t it?
It’s become quite a chore, that first step into a commercial bookstore, bludgeoned by regurgitated and repackaged plots, factory-fresh best sellers and… self-help.
Think of them as top fifty radio hits. A tried and true formula, catchy and periodically useful for those times the mind wishes to cap stimulation to the first layer. There is a place in the world for such works, like the paintings of a hotel hallway met with a pleasant gaze of passing--I only say this place should be secondary.
Fewer books are worth re-reading. Re-reading? I know. That first lap seems straight towards sunset hill.
But to find a book worth re-reading… ahh! I have shadows of the first shiver just thinking about it! This is the peak. Few reach it, and even fewer get realized.
Think of those times in the midst of reading, utterly enamored, when you said to yourself, “wow, I’m definitely reading this again,” but fail to do so simply because life gets in the way, or the allure of a book you don’t know proves too strong.
Imagine listening to that great song just once, would that be enough?
They say that to better understand, you must do.
By writing you become a writer, and a writer—even a bad writer—can understand literature in ways a non-writer never will.
So what does the painter see? The musician hear? The writer feel?
Their own brushstrokes.