Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tre: What I learned from reading a copy of The New Yorker every day (except weekends) during Lent in 2014

Part1: Why I did it.

Part2: A few lessons from the process.

Part 3. Would I do it again?

Yes.

I enjoyed the feeling of learning something. Reading some of these articles is like going to a dinner party and getting into the BEST conversation. Someone else has done a bunch of research and you get the most interesting tidbits. Other people’s enthusiasm is catching. This world is a fascinating place.

I enjoyed getting through a bunch of back issues—a diminishing To Be Read pile; a growing Recycle pile. When many of your activities recur often (dishes, laundry, meals) and the important stuff feels as if moves at a glacial pace, (essays, stories), it’s nice to be doing something with visible progress.

No.

The time I spent reading books (for pleasure) fell off drastically during this time. I’m in a couple of book clubs, so I made time to read those books (which is why I had to catch up a little on the magazines nearly every weekend). But I didn’t read other than that during those six weeks. I missed it. I like short stories, but I like a good novel, and I have several of those in my To-Be-Read pile, too.

I read a lot as part of my work, especially lately. I’m in a research-intensive time for one project, plus I have several revisions on the go, which require reading and mulling and rewriting. I enjoy reading, but sometimes at the end of the day I really didn’t want to spend time with some other writer’s words.

Bottom Line: Maybe. 

But I’d recommend this project or something similar as an exercise in discipline. And I like the feeling of working on a project. And hey, May is Short Story Month in some parts of the continent. Hmm, is that a new project?