The worst thing about not writing is that, though I am procrastinating, I don't feel like I can permit myself to procrastinate at anything productive. I procrastinate by buggering around on forums or reading webcomics. I procrastinate by playing spider solitaire while I watch comedies or documentaries on Youtube. I don't procrastinate by doing the dishes, or sweeping the floor, or even by playing computer games or reading.
(My sim is more successful at getting her novels written than I am, that's for damn sure. She makes me feel inadequate. Which is ridiculous.)
But I cannot procrastinate by reading, because I am plagued, constantly, by the niggling guilt that I should be editing. I cannot bring myself to pick up a book because I think "No! I shouldn't be doing that!" and instead of enriching my mind and soul I play solitaire while half-listening to a documentary about some guy digging up the Taung Child.
I sit here with a ridiculously long list of books I have, over the past three years, bought and not read. Or read half of, and left off, and not come back to. I have a borrowed copy of Cassandra Clare's "City of Glass" that I've had sitting on the shelf for about two years. My friend may never get it back; I don't often see her, and I am notoriously bad at remembering to return borrowed things. (I do warn people not to lend me anything. Do they ever listen...?)
Aside from the ever-growing pile of spiritual works, the "To Read" list is as follows:
City of Glass
Dracula (something of a re-read; I read most of it years ago but don't think I ever got to the end, and I'll need to read the whole thing over. Plus I have a shiny new edition.)
Titus Groan (nearly done!)
Winter Rose (read half of it, it suddenly got depressing, put it down to be picked up again when I was feeling less hormonal and never got around to it)
Wuthering Heights (I left it in the UK. Hopefully it is in a box and on its way.)
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell (Also winging - or sailing - its sluggish way across the seas.)
The Big Sleep (I feel like I can only read this while in the bath with a glass of wine at hand. Thankfully it's nearly cool enough for pleasing baths again.)
Mysteries of Udolpho
Delta of Venus
Beowulf (alright, so not quite "fiction" so much as "epic poem" but whatever.)
Confessions of an English Opium Eater
The Long Goodbye
Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass (haven't read it since childhood and would like a reread. Plus, new edition, illustrated by Mervyn Peake!)
Ladies of Grace Adieu
Woman in White
Tenant of Wildfell Hall (started. Not too far into it but enjoying it so far.)
Melmoth the Wanderer (started once, ages ago, and had to return to library. New copy now on its way with the rest of the UK box.)
Notre Dame de Paris (aka Hunchback)
Count of Monte Cristo
Amo, Amas, Amat and All That (yay Latin!)
Hammer and the Cross
Queens Consort (got partway through, got distracted. Need to start it over again, I think.)
Folklore of Discworld
Henry, Virtuous Prince (about a third of the way through.)
Great Dinosaur Discoveries
Add to that a list of twenty seven various assorted books regarding religion and witchcraft, from history to comparative mythology to Llewellyn-esque crap. Yesterday I started "the Spiral Dance" for the first time. I'm one chapter in and hope it improves, because it's really shockingly bad so far. I don't tend to like Starhawk's work as a rule because I'm not fond of her voice, but I am disliking this more because of her very poor ethics, her sexism and her bigotry more than a dislike for her writing style.
And this entire post made me feel a little like I'd accomplished something. To the extent that now I draw to a close and think of my work, sitting there untouched on the desktop, with a slightly lessened pang of guilt. This wasn't productive, in the same way as actually reading any of those books might be, but at least I haven't been pissing my time away on solitaire.
Remind me to get up early tomorrow morning. I tend to get a tiny bit more work done during the day.