I’ve always struggled to be creative when I’m depressed. I’ve hardly done any writing for several years now; that’s probably obvious from the long silence here. But a few years ago — probably around the time that I was diagnosed with low iron levels — I noticed I was having trouble reading too. It was hard to concentrate, and nothing seemed to hold my interest; it was a struggle to finish even short books. But in 2018, something changed. I’m not sure what, since the only concrete factor I can identify is the fact that I finally got a library card again and started checking out e-books. It’s true that I was sick for a couple of months (pneumonia followed by norovirus, whee), so I did have more time to read — but clearly that wasn’t the main factor, since I’m still doing well this year.
I do the Goodreads reading challenge each year, and have been since 2013. In 2018, I read 52 unique titles — nearly twice my previous best.
Admittedly, there were roughly ten novellas in that total, and a few shorter works (stories and novelettes) too. And the Hamster Princess books are very quick reads. Even so, I was able to read and finish a lot more than before, which was exciting and encouraging.
I’m on track to do well again this year. So far, I’ve finished 24 titles. although nine are short works (stories or novelettes), plus a novella and three more Hamster Princess books. But there were also a couple of doorstoppers in there, which tends to balance it out.
One thing I’ve learned is that I really do enjoy novella-length works. I’m glad to see that publishers are getting away from the idea that everything has to be 300+ pages and are embracing shorter titles.
Anyway… I’ll keep reading, and hopefully it won’t be quite so long before I write something again.
Common threadsBenedict Cumberbatch board games books buy borrow bin cancer creative writing prompts cute cute cute depression and anxiety Discworld Doctor Who Douglas Adams family fashion fiction writing flash fiction friends Funko Hobbit/LOTR hurricanes illness joy and laughter Katrina life Lovecraft Marvel Cinematic Universe music Nathan Fillion novel otters reading reading challenge Richard Armitage Sherlock short stories story submissions stress TableTop Terry Pratchett Tom Hiddleston wildlife writing exercises writing workshop