Lately, I find that words fail me.
The desire to write exists, but when I sit down and attempt to get to it…nothing happens. Blog posts, my personal works-in-progress, letters, e-mails, even something as simple as the weekly to-do list or an errand reminder – all seem too hard.
And it’s so easy to blame outside forces, isn’t it? There’s too much to do. There’s not enough time to write. There’s nothing to write about. But those statements could – and perhaps should – be turned very personal. I’m busy. I’m too tired. I’m not inspired by anything right now. Eventually, in the moments when I’m honest with myself, I realize that the inability to write comes only from me.
I have always believed that if you want to be a writer, you have to be a reader, and that is so very true. In grading student essays and homework, those who struggle to write often struggle to read. I don’t necessarily mean that they can’t read (although it’s always true that many do), but rather that they don’t or won’t read, for whatever reason. If we don’t read, we don’t get to experience how other writers use words and language. We don’t get to learn what conventions work – or don’t. We don’t see writing in action and so cannot put it into action our selves, at least not very well. Think about it: if a child never hears people speak, how will she learn to speak herself? We need examples and models to teach us what we need to know.
And there’s where it hit me. The reason I don’t seem to be able to find and share my words is that I am not consuming anyone else’s. Oh, the desire is there. I love to read. But as I reflect on my life of late, I see that I have not made reading a priority. I have not given reading time in my hours and days. So much else is there to distract – the phone, the Internet, television shows, work, chores, activities, family commitments, and so much more. I have allowed reading to fall far down on the priority list.
And it’s not good.
Reading is so important – for everyone. Reading helps us develop our own language skills, both written and verbal. Reading exposes us to the thoughts, dreams, ideals, and experiences of other people. Reading helps us understand and relate to the world around us and to the people in it. Reading is there to teach, to entertain, to inform, to persuade. Reading is necessary. For me, at least. But I truly believe it is necessary for all of us, for so many reasons.
So how did I allow it to become something frivolous, something extra? How did it become something I could not find time for instead of something that was part of my every day?
I don’t know the answer to that.
But I do know that it has to change. In order for me to find my own words to write and to share, in order for me to reconnect with the world that I have become distracted from, in order to find peace, I need to place reading at the top of my list every day, even if just for a short while. Because even a small amount of time spent on reading reaps benefits beyond measure.
This week I am a guest host for Literacy Musing Mondays.
Now on to our weekly linkup. 🙂
Last Week’s Top Clicked Post!
Do you know who won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Literature this year? You need to read Kate’s post if you don’t. She has some other interesting titles on her list that I am going to check out too. What is on your Fall reading list. We would love to read your posts about your current reads too.
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