The past two weeks have been BRILLIANT. For the first time in over a year, I feel like I can read properly and easily. I am sure it is something to do with having a baby and being a bit ill. I remember trying to teach a workshop during my early pregnancy and feeling so ill and vague and disorientated that I had to leave during the middle for a few minutes to collect myself. The fog never really went away, but I have been mind-over-mattering through it.

Now it has gone and I have been reading and instead of having to puzzle out the sentences I can hear them slotting into place one in front of the other. I can feel the way the paragraphs are making the pages breathe. The Mr is not reader of fiction, but he is a listener to music and we have often talked about the jaggy, nails on a blackboard feeling you get when you listen to words or notes out of tune. I was not as sensitive to words as I usually am for a while.

Everything is suddenly so much better. Like someone has turned up the volume on the radio. There is a real pleasure to be had in writing sentences, but being able to read them is better. Being able to read them and hear them is what makes me want to write.

I am reading stories by John Cheever.

In other news, and in a symbolically pleasing kind of way: the contact form at the footer of this website has been bust for ages and I didn’t notice. Now I have noticed and it has been fixed. I never ignore polite messages, so if you’ve tried to contact me and haven’t received an answer, forgive me and try again as I can hear you loud and clear now. 

6 responses to “Hooray”

  1. Really glad to hear that, I can’t imagine not being able to read, it must have been so odd and awful. I hope all’s well apart from that too. Happy New Year!

  2. I could read, just not as well. Much slower going – but not in the careful, savouring way – in the painful, labourious way. Apparently pregancy and breast-feeding brain is a myth, but it felt real enough for me.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Jim Murdoch says:

    No, I get that. It’s always assumed that writers are voracious readers and I never have been. I’ve gone for months on end without being able to read. Of course I hadn’t lost the ability to read but books had lost the ability to hold my interest. For the last couple of years I’ve pretty much read and reviewed a book a week and that’s the longest I have ever managed to maintain a reading schedule. A habit is something you’re supposed to miss when it’s not there and yet I find I can give up reading without thinking about it as I did a month ago to concentrate on finishing this novel. There’s no point worrying about it – I am the way I am – but I’m so jealous of people who can just devour one book after another.

  4. Jim – I’m presuming your book fatigue wasn’t baby-related!

    I go in fits and starts too, but I think you learn how to write from reading so I never let myself stop – it’s just been very frustrating for a while and I started to feel like I’d lost my ear or wasn’t very good at it any more.

    I used to devour one book after another – but books were like booze then, and just escapism. If I can feel the writer has taken some care with the sentences, then I like to try and go a bit slower.

  5. Nik Perring says:

    That’s more like it! Hooray! And happy new year and all that jazz

  6. Megan says:

    excellent (-:
    (And I’m just about to read Cheever too!)
    Happy waking up Ms Ashworth

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