One thing I’ve been learning about working productively is the value of taking breaks. And since I’ve been missing out on reading, especially this past week, I’ve decided to make all of my breaks today and tomorrow “reading breaks”.
The only thing is, it’s hard to find books that I can easily consume in ten-minute chunks of time!
So I’ve decided on non-fiction and cartoons.
In the line-up:
Never a Dry Moment, a Baby Blues book by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott. I saw this at the library last week and knew it would come in handy. I also plucked This is Going to Be Tougher Than We Thought from my own shelves – the more Baby Blues the merrier.
I love this comic strip; after I had Dylan, I had a bit of the post partum blues, and the Baby Blues collection really helped me out. if you have kids, trust me, read Baby Blues and you’ll be nodding your head in total agreement, and laughing. Hard. And as I hit the last stretch of work on this assignment, I’m definitely going to need some laughter to keep me going!
Writing Down Your Soul, by Janet Connor. I have been journaling daily for the past month. Some of you may remember my past struggles with committing to journaling (it appears I’ve asked, “Do you keep a journal” twice so far in this blog!).
It turned out the answer to my journaling dilemma was quite easy: one day I realized journaling required me to open up to myself. It was something I used to be reluctant to do, but on that day, I had reached a turning point in my life. And ever since then, it’s been easy.
I make it even easier by slotting it into my morning ritual. So now it’s a full-fledged habit.
I’ve read the first few chapters of Writing Down Your Soul, and it’s been very interesting so far. So I’m eager to take of my break time to dive a little bit more into the book.
It definitely brings back memories; while not exactly the most politically correct of reads, despite the stereotypes, the Tintin adventures are still rollicking good tales.
And I guess one could say these books were my own first introduction to graphic novels, way before they were actually called graphic novels.
How to Be, Do or Have Anything: A Practical Guide to Creative Empowerment, by Laurence G. Boldt. I’ve had this book for ages; it’s one of the scores of non-fiction books I keep meaning to get around to.
I began dipping into this book the other day, and found it quite inspiring. It gave me a “why haven’t I already read this” moment, which I then answered with, “well, obviously I wasn’t in the right moment at any time in the past and I am now”.
(This happens to me a lot – asking myself this particular question, and yes, holding this kind of internal dialogue.)
Boldt is also the author of Zen and the Art of Making a Living, another book I actually did read, which I have kicking around here somewhere as well.
And in case I feel like traveling a bit in my ten-minute breaks today and tomorrow, there’s also Every Day in Tuscany, by Frances Mayes, although I’m slightly afraid to dip into this one, because it might have the power of turning those ten minutes of break time into a much longer break than I intend.
I’ve enjoyed Mayes’ previous books, so I’m definitely looking forward to this one. I have to hurry with it, though, because it’s from the library and there’s a wait list for it, so I have no renewals to fall back on.
I’m wishing I had this one in audio, because it’s a book I might actually be able to listen to while working at the same time.
And last but not least, there’s Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, which I’m reading for the writer’s reading group I started up a few weeks ago. This coming week we’ll be reading the “Shitty First Draft” chapter, along with two others, and that chapter is one of my favorites from the book.
I’ve been doing well with my 20-minute daily writing goal (adding it to my morning ritual was obviously the right thing to do), and I think this week’s readings from Bird by Bird will be extremely helpful.
So these are my picks for those ten-minute reading breaks I’m promising myself for today and tomorrow.
Have you read any of these books? I know many of you are fiction readers mostly – what nonfiction books do you have up your sleeves, if any?