So we’re a little over a third of the way through National Poetry Month. I hope you’re keeping up with your 30/30 challenge. I am. It’s neat.
This post is about finding fiction during National Poetry Month, and the interesting way that it has informed my project. I mean, it’s not like fiction got lost, or even that I lost fiction. I’m not really sure what I mean by “finding” it, really. This is a bad paragraph.
First, some background. Right around the beginning of the year, I decided that it was high time for me to shed my “authorial sludgebody,” as Chuck Wendig calls it. Over two years of sitting most of the day is awful for you, and I knew better, but I still made the mistake anyway.
Working as a freelance writer and editor is fun, but I’ve learned two things through the experience: (1) keep a regular schedule, and (2) keep finding reasons to leave the house. You need to remember what it’s like to breathe or interact, or else this happens to you.
So I started exercising. I was worried about the time it would take out of my day, especially since I also wanted to read more. I may get paid to read and write, but ironically I really miss reading and writing sometimes. Anyway, I knew I couldn’t easily do both.
Enter: audiobooks. I could take in some books while I worked out. Literally thousands of people have had this revelation before me, but I sure felt damn special coming to it myself.
I started with A Tale of Two Cities first because I’d never read it, and classics are cheap on audiobook. Also, the plot of The Dark Knight Rises was loosely based on it, and I found this connection intriguing. I liked the book, much better than other Dickens books, actually, although I might say that so much passive voice made me lose focus from time to tome.
Since I finished that, I’ve been working through Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore after a recommendation by a friend. The audiobook is really well done, actually, with different narrators to handle the different narratives, and people talking about taking really big dumps.
This look makes me look forward to exercising every day so I can find out what happens next. I highly recommend this process as a motivator for exercise. For me, these activities link quite well with each other, and they help me make better use of my time. Whoever said reading had to be a passive activity?
Anyway, what I’ve found while working through my zombies for National Poetry Month is that this book is informing a great deal of the choices I’m making right now. I suppose it’s true that most writers tend to write to whatever is influencing them in the moment, but what makes this process so cool is that you never know how these connections will form.
My choice to listen to this book was completely independent of my choice to return to my zombies, and yet my zombies will forever be in debt to my experience with this book. That’s pretty great that ideas work that way, and that even when you’ve experienced this process before, you’re still surprised when it happens.
What’s informing your work right now? Spill the goods in the comments below.