Sean Williams

wordage, wordage everywhere

posted on 30 Sep 2006 at 10:54 am

Sometimes being a writer is more about reading than writing. Sometimes reading swamps writing entirely, a situation I find myself in at the moment.

I don’t mean reading over my own work during the editing process; neither do I mean reading for review or research. During October, I’ll be reading as a judge for the Aurealis Awards and the Writers of the Future Contest. I’m assessing grant applications (which includes scrutinising support material by the box-load) for Arts SA. I’m perusing submissions for the ever-expanding Big Book Club. And I’m looking at a galley from a friend in the States with a view to providing a blurb.

All of these things are important. All of them take time. There are days in the middle of writing a novel when I would kill for an afternoon reading a good book (aka falling asleep on the couch with a hardback plopped over my face). Seems all those wishes are coming true at once this month.

I’m not complaining. I’m actually looking forward to it. It counts as input, and I can’t let myself nod off while reading this kind of stuff. Any one of these books or stories could inspire me in unknown ways. I might even read something that will change the way I think about fiction forever. It’s possible. Isn’t that why we let stories into our lives in the first place? To change and inspire us?

It’s also a pleasant change of routine. Before I know it, I’ll be back to doing what I normally do and wishing for moments like these. By anyone’s standards, reading for a living looks very much like luxury.