First! The read-along announcement. No worries. It’s not anything dire, but I’ve been diligently writing up my posts as I’ve had the time to revisit the additional material I have and all those posts have turned out fairly long and I feel it’s best to split them up into two posts. I didn’t want to post two long posts on the same day, so I’m splitting them up yet. I haven’t decided whether to post on Thursday and Friday or Friday and Saturday yet, though, so if anyone has a preference, please let me know!
Please also note that for the novelette and short story there will be no discussion questions. Instead they’ll be longer discussions of the texts as a whole. (And yes there will be spoilers for the book.)
Secondly, the read-along has given me a few thoughts on the kind of person I am too. They haven’t been earth-shattering thoughts or anything, but they’ve been important to me. Actually, they’re the kind of thoughts that you know and just don’t really think about until they decide to hit you with a hammer.
I don’t like essays. I have never liked essays. I don’t like analysing texts either, which I’ve known since, uh, certainly my first year at university. I hate literary analysis and essay-writing. I’m enjoying the read-along and working out some of my thoughts on the book. But I’ve been toying with the idea of hosting another read-along later in the year. I’ve already reread the book for it. I just don’t have any questions or words. That’s been frustrating. I’ve just finished up the rough drafts for the discussions of the novelette and short story and those have been… not frustrating but tiring.
And that’s when the mallet hit. Because I haven’t re-experienced those stories a dozen dozen times over already. I don’t know them well. I haven’t had thoughts on them percolating through my brain for most of my life. And the pressure of sounding intelligent and coherent about them (especially when I want to run away shouting “I am not smart enough to understand these stories!”) is tiring. I have to push through that. I can do it – I have done it – but it is tiring.
And that’s how I’ve felt after ever essay I’ve written too: tired. I just didn’t realise why it was so tiring until this read-along. That probably also ties into why I struggle with reviewing things properly. I have to push through very much the same pressure of “I must seem intelligent and coherent”.
So now I just have to figure out how to tackle that more effectively. I do like talking about things and I’d like it to, you know, not leave me feeling half-way towards exhausted for doing it. No wonder I’ve burnt out so soon after starting if I have to slog through that all the time I start talking about things.
I’ve also been sick the last few days, but now that I’m feeling better and can confidently get my non-fiction writing mostly done before July, I’m considering signing up for Camp NaNo. I’ll give it a few more days to think about it, but I wouldn’t be surprised. (I’m supposed to rest, I know. Shush. Writing is relaxing when it cooperates?)