When in doubt, read

Good afternoon/good evening

I want to start off by apologising to my loyal readers. I did not have a post ready to go up this morning and I am afraid my “scheduled” file folder is completely empty. I have failed already this year with staying on top of my own deadlines and keeping my goal of having posts written in advance. However, I believe since it is still Sunday, I still have time to write something and get it up for you to read.

Secondly, I should apologise if this is not exactly the quality content you were hoping for. I realise they say “quality over quantity” is more important. But I also think that sticking to your habits is important too. I wouldn’t publish this however, if I didn’t think somebody could enjoy it and I hope that my readers would appreciate a bit of candidness. I’m only human, right?

I think this general update is appropriate since it actually relates to this month’s theme of new beginnings. I have to say this new beginning in particular (the new year) has already come with its highs and lows.

First of all, I got some wonderful news this week, I got into my dream university course: RMIT – Bachelor of Communications (Journalism). If you haven’t noticed yet, my dream is to become a journalist and RMIT has a reputation in Australia for being the best school to study journalism at. So yes, I’m pretty stoked! All of my hard work has finally paid off!

Aside from that, not a great deal much has happened around here and suffice to say, you guys, I have fallen into a rut. A big, deep rut! I haven’t been able to write a post for at least a week because even when I think of an idea, it’s not enough to give me the drive to want to write about it. Instead, I’ve stayed away from my computer, too afraid to write anything out of fear of it being complete crap. Even as I write this, I’m afraid it is crap and people will hate me for it.

I’ve been in ruts like this before and I realise they are not as uncommon as one might think. Many people, particularly those with creative ambitions often loose their spark or inspiration or motivation and end up idly pacing the house, desperately reaching for anything that would restore that creative drive they once felt.

But during a rut, I’ve discovered a huge comfort in books. When I was younger, I hated even the idea of reading. My mum would shake her and exclaim “Claudia Forsberg! How can you expect to be a writer if you don’t read!”. I just rolled my eyes (metaphorically) and went about ignoring her advice. My justification was that I could never find a book that I could really connect with and so, I preferred my own stories.

But I would soon learn that this is not sustainable because even people with the wildest imaginations can fall into a rut. In my later high school years, I took to reading again but only when I had the time which between all the heavy studying, was often not a lot.

Now I have so much free time, reading is all I’ve been doing. I get more and more excited each time I finish and start a new book. This year I started to keep a reading list of all the books I’ve read, with the date, started and finished, recorded (my goal is to reach 100). Some books I’ve read in two days and I’m already up to book 7 this year! I have a pile of books that I want to read on one side of my shelf, and when I finish, I add it to the other side. I also have a list of books of my phone that I add to every time I hear about a book that I want to get. I’ve officially gone book crazy.

But with my own imagination fuel run out, reading is all I can seem to do. And honestly, I think this is wise. Reading is so beneficial and productive for the creative mind. It’s like food for creativity – oh wait, food for thought, that must be where it comes from! We learn so much from the writers and creators who have come before us and books can help us grow, gain knowledge about the world, feed creativity or simply entertain us. This is a wonderful thing!

I can already feel some tiny ideas sprouting in my mind. Although nothing has made me ready to write a full blog post, the books are enough to keep me entertained and inspired to want to find my creativity again. Curiosity is what drives a good writer (so I’ve discovered) and right now I’m just in a phase of pure curiosity.

My advice to you is simply read. Read when you’ve run out of ideas, read when you’re bored. Read when there is nothing to do or read when you want to escape the world you live in right now. But there are SO many books out there; don’t do what I did and think there isn’t one out there that’s right for you. That’s not possible! Find an author, find a genre and when you run out, branch out! You’ll never truly run out of books to read in this world; that is the beauty of the written word.

Oh, and if you hate picking up a book, download an audio book – same thing. Its about digesting the information and then going out and doing something with it!

Read my loves, and I’ll be back next week with a good post for you.


Claudia Forsberg is a Melbourne based writer and journalist. She is currently working as a Regional Trainee with ABC Ballarat.


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