I have discussed some of the difficulties I have had in writing at times, such as this one. I have continued to give the idea some thought, for even though I am doing a fair bit of writing on personal and professional projects, I do not feel as though I am doing enough (of either, really, but I feel more deficient in the latter than the former). It occurs to me that I have not been spending as much time reading as I ought to be, and not taking in text has made it difficult for me to make new text.
The reading I have been doing has mostly been of academic journals--and I am a bit behind in doing so. My usual reading time, I have noted, is during my commute to and from work; I try to put the otherwise idle time on the trains to use. Recently, though, I have been doing so with sleep instead of study, and if I have indeed needed the sleep, I am suffering for the lack of study.
School might have ended for me last May, but learning, I hope, never does.
I have not been doing the kind of recreational reading that I used to do, however, and I think that that is the real deficiency. For most of my life, reading has been the thing I do; the few who have known me for a long while know that I have most often been found with a book in my hand. The apartment I share with my wife is full of books, with shelves overflowing with the things in our living room and in our bedroom. While it is true that there are some duplicate volumes on the shelves--usually different editions, or pairs of gift/display copies and copies that actually get read*--they account for relatively few of the volumes my wife and I have acquired during our lives. And, although we have nearly a thousand books on the shelves at the moment, there have been many others which we have owned, before or since we moved in together, that we no longer do.
Even I will occasionally get rid of a book, although that is increasingly rare an occurrence.
I have read most of what is on our shelves--really, there are only a few of my wife's scholarly books that I have not opened. But I have not just sat down and read like I used to do in quite some time. I have not found myself in my comfortable chair for hours upon hours, hardly moving except to turn page after page in a haze of textual delight, looking up only to realize that five or six hours have passed in what seems hardly so many heartbeats. I miss it, and I think that my not spending that kind of time, reading with that kind of abandon, is making it harder for me to write.
I suppose I need to make the time to correct that error. I doubt it will be easy, however; I have much to do, after all, and some of it needs doing fairly quickly. But I am going to get it in where I can...when I can...