Keeping Up With My Thoughts

Back at the end of September, I made a pact with myself: I would read, on average, 100 pages of written word a day. Why? Well… Over the last few years I’ve found myself struggling to maintain the healthy reading habits I’d developed through primary and secondary schooling. It was a wish to return to that way of reading that brought this agreement with myself about.

My school reading habits were… interesting. I know a few of my classmates would say weird as fuck. They’d see me walking down a hall, a book held in front of with the tip of my nose between it’s pages and my eyes darting from sentence to hallway and back again over and over until I reached my destination. Numerous books were devoured by prodigious appetite this way. I think one week in middle school would see six or seven books fall prey to me, and that was even around my school reading that I was still required to do.

I’m definitely weird.

One thing that I’ve always noticed about myself is that I’ve always had trouble putting my thoughts onto paper. Or, at least, I thought I had that trouble. Turns out when you think like I do (that would be a mile minute, thoughts zooming by the like the stars do when entering hyperspace in Star Wars) that you can easily miss something that would be important. The question becomes how can I avoid this?

Courtesy Wookieepedia

I could sit down with a piece of paper at the end of reading a full book and simply word vomit. This is not ideal for me, though. I come away feeling like I didn’t quite capture everything I thought throughout reading. No. I need something that is more daily, like a journal.

That! A daily journal. That’s the answer I’d been looking for for years.

I’ve begun keeping a reading diary and honestly I’m so glad I have. The requirement is simple: I write down my thoughts at the end of whatever arbitrary section I’ve decided upon. No matter if it’s a play or poem or newspaper article or just 100 pages from a novel. The very act of taking time when I’ve finished reading (and sometimes even pausing a moment to write a particular thought) has helped the knotted strings of thoughts to be more cohesive.

Indeed, when I wrote my recent thought essay on Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay, this is what I did. It works for me and maybe it’ll work for you too.

Flipping through my reading diary

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