For our prompt of “Books” today, I opted for a single book and glass with late night shadows. I’ve always loved reading, and used to stay up until the wee hours of the morning just to finish a book. I couldn’t stand going to sleep without knowing what happened next in the story. These days, I actually read on my Kindle most of the time and I’m usually asleep within about 30 minutes. This is no fault of the book or the author who worked hard to spin a wonderful tale, but instead just a side effect of age. I get a touch sleepy. And truly, there’s something about reading that lulls an overtaxed mind a bit. No matter what I was worried about or stressed about previously, in the middle of a wonderful story, I’m content and relaxed. So relaxed these days, of course, that I just nod right off to sleep. But, I remember times when I would stay up much later, reading for hours at a time. Sure, I’d be a little exhausted when I awoke the next day, but equally exhilarated for having completed yet another book. Every so often, I start a book that becomes quite special. It’s one of those rare books that I simply can’t wait to start reading again. The kind where there’s almost a bit of sadness when it’s finally at the end. I love these books most of all.
Lately, I’ve been bouncing around between various books, but have been reading a lot of Agatha Christie books that I’ve not read yet. It’s amazing how well her books have traveled through time and can still hold the same allure today. And, more amazing, is simply the fact that she was both a wonderful writer as well a talented magician when it came to creating complex mysteries. She’s the very reason why I hope to right my own mystery book before I leave this earth. I’ve no idea when I’ll be able to make it happen, but it’s definitely on my bucket list. In truth, I got a bit stalled out while trying to finish my next book in my Sketching Stuff Activity Book series. I was planning on doing a book on animals next, but then began to doubt if that was the correct order. I read something recently about Agatha Christie’s approach to writing and learned that she liked to work on more than one book at the same time. At first, this seemed almost like a crazy idea to me, and then I realized we’re talking about me, after all, and it’s probably the very best approach of all. So, though I’m behind on my “next” book I have 75% of the next two books completed!
For Agatha Christie, this act of bouncing around between ideas was a way to keep all of her ideas fresher. I have to believe this is very wise advice. Even if you don’t suffer from a lack of focus and a dangerously short attention span like I do, it’s true that pursuing only one thing singularly can exhaust creativity a bit. What was once a moment of creative inspiration turns into an arduous task instead. Something you have to do, rather than something you love to do. I wholeheartedly believe that any moment when I’m DOing something that doesn’t feel quite right is the perfect moment to DO something else entirely. It’s rather odd advice, to be sure, as we’ve all been trained that if we want to actually complete something we should do that something until it’s complete. This seems like a perfectly sound solution on the surface, but when that something involves a bit of creativity, the rules change. For a creative endeavor to thrive, it’s never about rules at all. It’s about making space at the right time and in the right place. Whatever happens then, is simply what’s meant to happen next. And so, these days, I’m perfectly content to let the story unfold at a more natural pace, and have happily given up that frantic act of late night reading.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!