Waking Up

Some days it is hard to drag myself into consciousness, let alone out of bed. It doesn’t necessarily matter how much sleep I have, how many things I have to do, or whether I want to do them. On weekends especially, there is only one trick I’ve discovered for getting myself to actually move.

I pick up a book I’ve already read.

Not a new book, or a book I’m currently reading (on those rare occasions I don’t read a book in one sitting), because if I pick up a story I haven’t finished, I’m not going anywhere for a while. I keep my kindle next to my bed, so I can just flip it on and scroll through until my brain stops and goes, “THIS ONE. IT MUST BE THIS ONE.”

And it’s not a complete re-read. Sometimes not even my favorite parts. I click (or flip, if I can heave myself up long enough to take two steps to a bookshelf and grab one of the paperbacks) through, re-read whichever sections my brain seems to want. And by the end of the book, I’m awake and ready to move.

I’ve heard writers — first from Steven Gould at VP, I think — talk about how important it is to take in media and art in order to replenish the well and make our own. Sometimes it’s not even about making art, though. Long before I knew I wanted to be a professional writer, I knew that not reading at least one book each week was linked inextricably for me with getting inexplicably cranky when absolutely nothing was wrong.

My soul craves story; it feeds on them and devours and grows and changes. And there are days when I need just a little boost, a jolt of story straight into my veins to be, to move as myself.

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