After the project that was entering all my To Be Read books in a database (because I was starting to acquire duplicates--yikes--and finding that the TBR stack took up an entire bookshelf) and deciding that I needed to read all the books acquired at Apollocon last year before this year's convention (next week), I assumed all my 'writer' time would be taken up finding excuses to keep reading. Forced march, read, read read!
To a certain extent, the delay in reading was due my distrust of but interest in the self-published books you find at a smaller convention like Apollocon: husband and wife writer teams working on multi-book fantasy series, independent writers with blog story compilations, small press authors with fantasy books unavailable in my local B&N. So far, the stories have been interesting and not what I expected--many of them have scratched the reader's itch that I've had since I was first allowed into the tiny B. Dalton F/SF section with cash of my own. Something of the writer's enthusiasm comes through and, for the most part, the books avoid the excessive length that I've noticed creeping into the bookstore.
Semi-polished and lean, these stories have also connected with my writing brain. When you read about writing (which I do, sometimes obsessively), you encounter the dichotomy of writer brain/editor brain. References to an "inner editor" who can be either a strict structural sentence engineer or some variation on "this is stupid, go back to playing ESO" are frequent. What I rarely encounter is the idea of a triple division -- an inner writer, reader, and editor. I came to writing because I am a reader. It will always be primary; I would rather read good fiction than write my own. [Maybe this disqualifies me from being a "True(TM) Writer." It's possible that I don't love it/want it enough. I can live with that.]
It's easy for me to forget, however, that reader brain is there when I'm drafting and trying not to edit as I go or revising and trying not to lose patience with the entire NOT InstaPerfect project and just start another draft. Reader brain would remind me that there is something that I'm interested in within the words and that I want that enthusiasm to come through. That the words exist solely to convey that enthusiasm. That enthusiasm--which is not a synonym for fun-all-the-time, merely a statement of ongoing, more-than-baseline interest--is how projects are completed. It is motivation and concern for the experience of others. It is finishing what you start.
This is probably something that you already know. I had forgotten. This is my blog-as-fridge magnet to remember.