You know, I'm one of those people who really delights in reading. And I'm not talking about a good story. I mean the deep books of academe. I enjoy them. I laugh aloud while reading books with words like "empirical" and "methodological" in their titles. I like academics (well, some of them anyhow). I find their writing can be quite amusing.
I haven't been reading enough lately. That's a real problem. Oddly, not reading isolates me more than physical solitude. When I was young, say 8 or 10, and complained on having "no peers," my father told me to find friendship in books. To read them like they had been written to me. So, I revel in the personalities of writers. And I take it personally. I say I like them. But I can also abhor them. I can curse and mumble at books. "That's stupid!" "What? What? What is your point?"
I become quite annoyed when an author seemingly obscures their points rather than presents them. I glare at random Latin phrases peppered throughout a text that bear no meaningful work like mirabile dictu. If it's so wonderful to relate, just relate it. There's a reason I won't take work to bed, nothing I might take notes on. Because all the cursing and mumbling keeps my wife awake.
But, reading is good for me. It's what keeps me seeking. And I want to write. Oh, do I want to write. Hell, I penned that dissertation. 376 pages. 62,681 words. It's done, finished, completed, approved, signed, and filed. I've got the (albeit rather pathetic looking) diploma to prove it. And those three little letters after my name, which I'm at times a bit hesitant to use, for fear of seeking status in symbols rather than actions.
I did finish, and I'm frankly proud of it. Sure, it's not a perfect work. But it's mine, and it's more than I had before grad school. But I'm afraid. I'm afraid that it ends there. So, I've got to read. And take notes. And when I feel the inspiration return, and the juices begin to flow, I can write.