woman reading

Lessons in timely reading

Have you ever experienced the pure serendipity of reading a book at the precise moment you needed to read it? Perhaps you started reading a book about characters learning to grieve, as you were learning to grieve. Or you read a book with a protagonist overcoming an obstacle that you were also attempting to overcome. Regardless of how it comes about, the impact of timely reading can be life-giving, sometimes life-changing, even if it’s in the subtlest of ways.

reading children's stories

Writing inspiration from children’s stories

I’m currently reading T. J. Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea. It’s unlike anything I typically read, or that I’ve ever read before. And I mean that in a good way. While the book is intended for adult readers, it incorporates elements of storytelling that are traditionally incorporated into children’s stories, which is much more difficult than it seems at first. And it’s made me realize that gleaning inspiration from children’s stories so that you can write for adults will not only challenge you as a writer but reintroduce you to the underlying magic of storytelling in general.

read slower

Read everything slower to improve your critical thinking skills

Our society runs on caffeine and adrenaline and speed and immediate action– to the point where those who are more intentional and deliberate (or try to be) are often ridiculed. And having machines and algorithms and devices process information (especially language) for us has only exacerbated the problem of making us all busy bodies who do things, a lot of things, quickly… but not necessarily very well or with a long-term human-oriented view. Most people in our society don’t think critically about what they do anymore. I believe this problem has to do with the fact that intentional reading and processing of language doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should anymore. And I believe that reading everything slower can improve your critical thinking skills. In fact, I don’t think it’s possible to have critical thinking skills if you aren’t intentionally processing language when you come across it.