Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Books, Blogging, Bloat

About six weeks ago, Eli and Rose started preschool. I did something totally self-indulgent this year: I put them both in full-day preschool one day a week. That's right, between the hours of 9:30-3:30, I have no children with me. I did this because I'm planning to teach at BYU Salt Lake on Thursday afternoons this winter, but it felt absolutely decadent to have six hours all to myself each week. I had such big plans-- I was going to write essays. I was going to start one of the book ideas I have percolating through my head. I was going to get pedicures. I was going to read. I was never, ever going to get behind on blogging.

Obviously, things haven't turned out that way. I've spent most of my free time building cabinets for the kitchen project I've been working on. Between fall break and doctor appointments and everything else that encroaches on life, the only truly indulgent thing I've done during that time was the one time I went running. It was about a zillion degrees and I didn't take water and I thought I might expire on the trail before I got back to the car.

My life is way too full. I'm sure yours is too. And if you're like me, it's probably full of lots of good things. I love each and every one of my kids. I love that they're involved in a lot of things that help them feel fulfilled, but it's go-go-go around here all day long. Somehow writing always takes a back burner to folding laundry or driving Annie a million places during a day (and the other kids too, but mostly Annie). I haven't written a word so far. 

One of the things that this exercise of having "free time" has taught me is that I'm not very good at curating my life. Purging my closets? Yes, absolutely. But choosing to do the things that are meaningful or necessary or bring me joy and not doing other things? Not so much. I guess I just love too many things. 

That brings me to books and blogging. From the very first time I got my hands on Little House on the Prairie in first grade, reading has been the greatest escape of my life. When I started blogging about books (probably about eight years ago), I loved sharing what I was reading, and also doing a little bit of analysis about how the books applied to my experience. But lately, I'm wondering if I'd really rather spend time writing about books, or if I'd rather spend time actually writing books. 

The answer is, at least for right now, that I don't know. I do know that the sixteen books I have read that I haven't blogged about yet are weighing heavily on me, yet I keep procrastinating writing about them. I've set an informal deadline to get them all blogged before we leave town (in 48 hours). Writing that down may actually make me stick to it. But is writing about books a meaningful way to share my voice? Is it a talent or merely an exercise that grew out of a blogging meme way back at a time in my life when I really needed it? Should I keep writing about what I read, or is the weight of feeling responsible for writing about books taking the joy out of reading? 

Meanwhile, if you need me, I will either be in the car, at the dance concert, at a band concert, or stealing away to my bedroom to try to crank out those book reviews before my girls and I hop on a plane to Disneyland.


anna said...

Obviously, I hope you keep blogging about your books, but I would settle for a list every once in a while. :)

Tiffani said...

I also hope you keep sharing books, I have found several faves through you. But yeah, maybe just a list with your rating instead of a whole review would help your busy schedule! Thanks for sharing your talents!

Alanna said...

I think the vast majority of books that I read come from your blog reviews-- please don't stop! I won't know what to read next! Or if you do stop, at least clue us in on other book reviewers who's opinions we can trust!

Alanna said...

Gack-- I meant "whose." I hate it when I write the wrong one!

Unknown said...

I too have very much enjoyed your reviews, but take care of you! Maybe just stars and very brief reviews when you do?