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Writing about Reading, Disenchantment

For some reason, I find writing on this blog far more difficult than on the other one, and when I think of the fact that this blog has subscribers, I feel shamed into updating it. Apologies to all my subscribers, for having been a sorry blogger!

But I find that on this blog writing meaningfully is much more important to me than writing often.

In this article, Annie Dillard says:

“Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case. What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon? What could you say to a dying person that would not enrage by its triviality?”

I am not sure what I write here has that acute relevance Dillard demands, but I can say honestly that I only write here when I feel I have found something to share, mourn or puzzle out, usually something meaningful.

Recently, I have begun again to look at books with a critical eye. Not the critical eye of a reader, or critic, or even an editor, but the critical eye of another writer.

And though I find much beauty, a variety of fresh perspectives and great understanding of human nature, I find I have not been astonished by a book in a long time. That feeling of “Bugger! This is so simple yet brilliant! Why didn’t I think of it?” has not come by.

This could be because I am jaded, or have simply lost the eyes of an innocent reader. But what if I have not? Frightening thought, that one, one I am sure is all delusion. Or maybe I am reading the wrong kind of books entirely.

Here is to reading well and writing better. Books on my reading shelf right now: The Enchantress of Florence, The Sewing Circles of Herat, and The Silmarillion.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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