Wednesday, February 17, 2010

THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE AND OTHER STORIES, by Robert Louis Stevenson


Been working on this book for ages. I remember loving TREASURE ISLAND, though it's been years since I read it, but the stories in this collection sure aren't holding my attention. Worse, forcing through a few pages of this and then giving it up for something else, I find that whatever else I turn to also fails to engage. Or maybe I'm just a bit burned out on reading.

With the new job I'm sitting at a desk for ten hours a day, four days in a row each week. A good portion of that time is spent reading. I get an hour for lunch each day, too, and spend some of that hour in a book. Maybe I'm just cloying my reading energies.

Leads me toward thinking about 'too much of a good thing.' I feel like American Society encourages a sort of 'all or nothing' approach to life. You're supposed to find what you love doing and then spend all your time doing it, especially if what you profess to love is art/music/writing. I know of an author who spends 40 hours a week writing, bare minimum, every week. Recently he's broken through with book publications, and now his backlog will flood forth, but for a while he pinned it all on writing and trusted to fate (and his parent's support, I'm guessing) to cover his expenses.

Even if I didn't have to support myself, I doubt I could dedicate that much time to writing. In the busy spurts I've experienced, the most I've managed is three or so hours a day for a few weeks. Then I get bored, or glutted, or disinterested. Whatever it is I'm doing--writing or reading or sleeping or eating or whatever--loses its appeal when I get too much of it.

Makes me hesitant to define myself as a 'writer,' or anything else. I can't fit myself all-together into one pursuit, or one interest. About the one thing I can imagine myself doing all the time is this:

not fucking working.

Of work I'm sure I've had enough.

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