Good Lookin’

More than a dozen years ago I was dating a man who considered himself a poet and a novelist. One day I went for dinner at his house.

“Did you just move in?” I asked

“Several months ago,” replied Poet.

“Oh,” I said, looking around me. On an uncluttered shelf I noticed a single, slim volume of Tuesday’s with Morrie, propped up against a law textbook. “Then where are all your books?”

“Ha,” he scoffed. “I don’t read.”

“Whaat?” I laughingly responded, disbelieving. “But you’re a writer.  Writer’s read!”

“I don’t agree that you need to read to be a great writer.” he dismissed me, haughtily. “I am inspired by life.”

I never got the opportunity to find out if this was true, as I was only given the honour of reading one of his poems. (To be fair, the novel he had written wasn’t in English, so it was my fault for not being able to read it.) I remember him handing me the poem reverently, his eyes on my face to watch my reaction.

“Wow… So good…” I assured him, laughing nervously. I mean, it was ok. My roommate at the time was an awesome award-winning play write and she was always giving me bits her of work to read, so I knew what good looked like. Anyway, whatever, maybe I just didn’t “get” it. 

The point is, I’m going to stick with my original bias and say that writers read, especially good ones who want to be betterI knew what good looked like because I loved to read widely and I had read my friend’s amazing work. She knew what good looked like because she read all the plays, poems, novels, essays she could get her hands on.

This challenge has been amazing because it has put me in the habit not only of writing every day, but of reading the blogs of other teachers. Reading and commenting is time-consuming, and I read a lot more posts than I comment on, but I get so much inspiration from this community that it is always worth it. You all help me know what good looks like again and again and again.  

I wish there were more hours in the day to read all of your work.


6 thoughts on “Good Lookin’

  1. What a strange thing–to be a writer and not read! Hard to imagine…. The reading part is really my favorite part of the challenge. I love reading other teachers’ blogs and discovering powerful new voices and finding inspiration for my own thinking and writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree! When I am stuck, it’s so helpful to me to start by reading a few posts. I can’t imagine trying to be a writer without first being a reader. Or at least while simultaneously being a reader.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, I don’t understand how one can be a writer when one does not read. This challenge has widened my world again so much. Ideas are waiting for me; some later this month and others when there is more time to dig deeper.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I, too, love to read other blogs & wish I had time to read many many more in March. I find the blogs in this challenge – including yours! – powerful and inspirational. So glad you are part of this community!

    Liked by 1 person

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