It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a book review, which is less the result of not having read anything interesting than from reading too many things at once. On any given week in July, I was jumping back and forth between three different books. Every time I finished one, I’d grab a new one off Amazon at one in the morning, or something would come in from the library and be due in a week. I read a lot, but afterwards I found it difficult to organize my thoughts.
I don’t like to blog about my writing process. I think all that can lead to is setting expectations for myself that I’ll feel guilty about not meeting. But it’s safe to say this. When it comes to writing for the Internet, it’s more important to me to write when I have something to say than to meet an monthly quota. There’s certainly a lot of pressure I can internalize to produce more. It’s not direct, no one’s emailing me every day to work harder as a content provider. But I do live in LA, and everyone’s got their podcasts and blogs and Twitter followers and web videos and self-published books to promote…
It’s easy to tune into that chatter and convince myself that I could be doing more, where more equals better. But truthfully, I think a lot of sites would be better off doing less. So when I find myself writing a book review and thinking I wrote the same thing a month ago about a different title, with identical adjectives and paragraph structure, I set it aside for a day or two. And if the feeling persists, I move on and give myself another assignment.
There’s nothing to win here. It’s just the Internet. But I have to remind myself of that sometimes. I know there are things you’re supposed to do if you want to consider yourself a success. But for me, any time I’m able to step back and breathe, remember that success is a standard I set for myself, and that maybe the world doesn’t need to read my every waking thought, that’s a success for me.
That said, here’s a new podcast of waking thoughts. You can get it on iTunes or download it directly from the link at the end of the post.
Books discussed this week include: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman, Behemoth by Peter Watts, Earthworm Gods II and A Gathering of Crows by Brian Keene, On Rainy Night by Richard Laymon, The Pull of Gravity by Brett Battles, and Prophet of Bones by Ted Kosmatka. Also mentioned: Andrea Letamendi’s superhero analysis site Under the Mask and Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Episode 44, in which the legacy of August Derleth is discussed.