The reader’s influence

I just re-read one of my stories that I remembered with great fondness. It didn’t seem all that good on my re-read. I know I’ve read it many times before and I loved it, but today I didn’t.

It is good because it helps me to see places where I can cut and other places where I think I need to expand on what is going on to make it clearer. So there are editing benefits to my lack of love on this read, but it has made me realised the expectations and emotions of the reader bring a lot to the reading experience.

Recently I’ve started reading five books which I’ve put down at the half-way mark. Three of these books were by writers I have read and enjoyed their previous work many times before. These books just didn’t hold my interest.

I wonder how much of my lack of enjoyment of these books has been because of my jaded, stressed mood? It is this same mood that has rendered my own work unlikable, and actually feels like a good mood for editing. But is it?

Two books did grab me during this time, which I read, finished and loved. I wonder what my experience of these books would have been like if I had been in my normal, non-stressed mood? I will have to find out as soon as I stop feeling so stressed and jaded. Hopefully that won’t be measured in years.