Today, it’s an honor and a pleasure to welcome Susie Lloyd (who I’ve long followed and much loved!). Susie’s the author of two of my very favorite books (one which I reviewed here). She’s a homeschooling veteran of 25 years and a freelance writer who’s been at it at least that long.
Susie is here to talk about her recent reading, a topic that’s near and dear to my heart, and which I thought you would enjoy, too!
There are seven books on the top of my nightstand right now and that does not include the one I am really reading. Lower down on the nightstand are thirteen more books.
Maybe you are thinking: So what? What’s unusual about that? Ah… you get it. When it comes to books, excess is not possible.
Not that I have time to read. So? Why let that stop you? Exactly.
Maybe you are old fashioned like me and like your books to be made of out paper, that way the more worn out they look, they more loved they feel. Or maybe you get your books electronically because you just can’t resist the lure of having tens of thousands of books at the touch of your greedy finger anytime anywhere. Either way, you want to read only the best. Your book love language is quality time.
The best kind of book date is the one that wows you. It’s like a date you planned but way exceeded expectations.
For me, that’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. Yeah, the horror guy. I have never read anything by Stephen King before. I don’t read horror. I thought I’d never seen one of his movies but I did see Shawshank Redemption. I just never knew it was his – probably because it wasn’t horror.
On Writing is not horror either, unless you count: “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” It is a writing memoir. That right there makes it two things I dig: it’s about writing and it’s a memoir.
At the end of a long day doing a fill in the blank list of activities, this book is my reward. I often find myself laughing out loud, nodding knowingly, or taking notes. Notes! On a book I am reading for fun!
King had me doing all three when he went off on the topic of interruptions.
Here is the guy who is possibly the most commercially successful writer alive, describing life as a kind of writer’s heaven. You create alone in your room in a secluded house in the woods by day; someone reverently drops your lunch off on the front steps. You clink wine glasses with other elite writers by night; they critique your work as you roast marshmallows.
Turns out, King writes in a busy house, in a normal neighborhood occupied by a wife and kids who sometimes need him to unclog the toilet.
As a wife, mom, homeschooler, errand runner, supper maker, wet laundry rescuer who never gets enough time to write, I get it.
But you don’t have to be a writer to get it. Anyone who has ever gotten interrupted when they are finally doing the one thing that is all theirs and no one else’s will get it.
As a writer, it means that when you go unclog that toilet, your story goes whoosh, down the drain. Of course, it’s not always a toilet that calls you from your so-important-work-of-art. It’s a sunny day when your husband invites you to take a walk; it’s a kid saying look at what I built up in the tree in the backyard; it’s 5:30 choir practice and no dinner started yet. It is all the things you do in your everyday life that come first.
Writing my life is secondary to living my life. My books aren’t my children. My children are my children. The uninterrupted life is not worth living.
I’ve always known that. What I haven’t always known is what King is telling me – that the uninterrupted life is not worth writing either.Cut yourself off from real people, real situations, real toilets, real tree forts, and you’ve got nothing to write about. Living your life is how you convincingly write your life.
“It is, after all, the dab of grit that seeps into an oyster’s shell that makes the pearl, not pearl-making seminars with other oysters.”
So now I have to interrupt this guest blog post and live my life. There’s wet laundry waiting to be rescued, dinner to start, and a sunny walk under the shining eye of heaven beckoning. Maybe later, I’ll even find time to read.
Thank you, Susie, for stopping by. Be sure to visit her at her place.