Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Experiment halted

First, I got distracted by my critical mind intruding into my reading.
I tried to push it aside, not always successfully.
After a while, I decided to give in. Last week, I started experiment to read with a pencil.
Wondered how it would work
Doubted it would work.
It didn't work.

Most likely reason? Tricia is right; I pulled out the pencil initially because I noticed so much of the craft side of things in the book. Not surprising. This is
not the type of book I normally read; I picked it up primarily because it's quite a "hot" book right now. The language is very descriptive, florid, and has a feeling of being translated. My critical mind was alerted, and when I gave in to it, it just took over. I found myself avoiding the book repeatedly, and when I did pick it up, I wasn't keen on it.

Would I have not enjoyed the book even if I hadn't subjected it to the experiment? I don't know.

Would the experiment have worked had I chosen a different sort of book? I don't know.

I am back to square one: I still don't know what to do with the intruding analytical mind. I'll have to try something else. In the mean time, I have at least two books waiting for me to read and enjoy.


T. Anne said...

I don't think I could read that way either. I am tempted to write down tags once in a while but halt just short of doing so.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Hopefully you can go back to enjoying music and books without the critic on your shoulder all the time. But I have to say, I recently read a book that was getting good reviews and has a prominent display in stores. I couldn't stand it. All I saw was so many flaws I couldn't figure out how it wasn't sent back for revision. Since then more people have raved about it. I think I may do a search to see if anyone but me has reacted negatively. Was I in an uber-critical state when I read it or are some people less discerning about what they read? Who knows.

Davin Malasarn said...

Yat-Yee, I seriously think that over time that intrusion that you're talking about goes away. For me, I went from loving writing to being super critical when I started writing myself. Then, about nine years into it, I suddenly made a transition. I could finally appreciate what other people were doing again. As soon as I trusted that other writers were equally or more talented than I was, I could read their work more receptively and that intrusion went away until I decided to turn it on again.

MG Higgins said...

Yat-Yee, I'm curious if the experiment was worthwhile as far as what you learned about craft. Did you glean anything that you think will improve your own writing?

I'm REALLY curious which book Tricia is talking about!

Yat-Yee said...

T. Anne: I learned that I can't read that way either!

Tricia: Thanks. I did enjoy reading two other books today. Very different, yet both engaging. And also, MG wants to know, *w*

Davin: I sure hope the transition will happen to me. It would be lovely. I don't think, for me, it's a trust issue. I usually read in good faith, that the authors would be good and they'd have something to say. Just like when I listen to music, I assume the performers have gone through a lot to be where they are. I think I need to embrace it as part of my reading process. Not give in to it totally as I did here, but accept it and hopefully find ways for it to exist but not intrude.

MG: Yes, every experience is worthwhile. I did learn something about writing from it.

Lady Glamis said...

Yat-Yee, I'm in the same boat with Davin. I used to be overly critical, but it's slowly going away.

Because I've learned to trust the writer and the book.

If that trust goes away, reading becomes a drudge.