A while back I blogged about what I was reading. I was methodically working my way through my second book list. There were aspects of that I enjoyed, the primary one being that it exposed me to books that I loved but would have never picked up left to my own devices. The aspect of I that I didn’t enjoy was feeling deprived of reading random titles that would spark my interest along the way.
After a few years of reading according to my own choices, I think I need the structure of the book list and the blog follow-up. The worst outcome of letting go of this process has been that I read less. I don’t know why it feels easier to me to pick up my phone and doom scroll through social media than it does to pick up a book. Doom scrolling doesn’t make me feel good, and it’s clearly not a good use of my time.
There’s a part of me that doesn’t enjoy being boxed in. But it’s becoming more clear to me that I need the walls of the box to bounce creatively off of. Without the walls I am aimless.
The only deviation I might make from my past process is that I might either craft my own book list, one that incorporates titles I am interested in along side selections from an editor’s book list. Or, I might allow myself to be reading at any one time a book from an editor’s list and a book of my own choosing. I am hoping that this modification will minimize what I’ve not liked about the experience while giving me the benefits I enjoy.
It feels frustrating to me that I need structure. My instincts are to feel hemmed in and anxious about it. My personal values are those of a wanderer, while my creativity and growth depend on rigor and dogged determination. And I resent it. But it works, so here we are.