mojo :: noun informal

get your mojo working: magic, voodoo, hoodoo, wizardry, sorcery; charm, lucky charm, amulet, talisman, churinga.

2 she’s lost her mojo: 
energy, vitality, spirit, zest, verve; power, dynamism, drive; fire, passion, ardor, zeal; 
zip, zing, pep, pizzazz, punch, bounce, oomph, moxie, go, get-up-and-go, 
vim and vigor, feistiness.
 

I struggle to find the space to read.

That’s a strange thing for an editor and proofreader to say, you might think. Well, it’s true. I don’t mean that I struggle to understand writing and words (thank you parents and the NSW education system) or that I struggle to read for work-related tasks at all.

At Monk script I read webcopy, CVs, grant applications, blogs and e-newsletters – all day long. In my teaching life I read journals and assignments constantly. In my work as a curator and writer I am always absorbing ideas through the written form, mostly online. Actually as an English tutor, I am currently ‘reading’ (if only vicariously) Tim Winton’s Dirt Music. I guess I could say I read, write and communicate every working hour.

My Bullet helping me read uni assessments

 

So when I get home at the end of the day, or when I’m soaking up the glory that is a free weekend the last thing my poor brain and eyes want are to read some more. Sadly, I’m not even keen to read from a beautifully musty-smelling, sepia-turning book. It breaks my heart. I think my work has got me to the point where I am both in my element, but completely in overdrive. It’s affecting my PhD, too.

Usually I grasp theoretical concepts in the humanities and social sciences fairly easily, but at the moment words like coding, transformative data and matrices just swirl around the page with no tangible meaning.

So I somehow need to reset. Find my personal reading mojo again. Balance out the reading for work towards a semblance of reading for life (and perhaps a small dose for study.)

I smashed a few books while I was travelling through India. I read The God of Small Things, The Tao of Pooh and Te of Piglet, and Holy Cow. I thoroughly enjoyed escaping to the other writers’ and characters’ worlds. But that was a holiday. With no work-reading distractions except my goal to journal every day – I filled three notebooks, by the way.

I have about eight books that I’ve borrowed from friends – all by Indian writers to extend that holiday feeling – but I am feeling the heaviness of readers’ guilt. The piles of pages call to me, but I cannot answer. Again, how to reset?

Perhaps this entry is a good start; perhaps I just need to let go and take stock of all the amazing reading material I have access to everyday; that I effectively get paid to read.

With my downtime, instead of reading, I have been filling it with gardening, watching a TV series (The Newsroom – loving it), pottering around the house, some time on the yoga mat (my dogs in dribbling tow), baking, and catching up with my friends. I really can’t complain. I am enjoying life even without reading something soul-nourishing for myself. Even if it has been a little aprosexic.

 

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All of these non-reading activities provide me with the opportunity to connect to the present, and find a meditative state that my brain – I suppose – is craving. Reading can take a lot of your attention. For me it does, anyway. I like to get inside a book. Not just skim its surface.

So I’ll just roll with my lack of reading mojo for now; I’ve talked myself into it by writing this post. I’m sure it’ll come around. I’ll get to my haven of Indian Literature Greats in good time. Or perhaps I should just book that apartment in Jaipur, stat…?

 

You must read this, if you feel like I do (thanks Mr. Burkeman): How to Find Time to Read

Here’s some other people’s words and discussion about the topic.

Dear Author       Good Reads        Reddit 

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2 thoughts on “Wanted: My Reading Mojo Back, Safely Returned

  • April 22, 2015 at 6:15 am
    Permalink

    Perhaps Bullet points might help to get back reading mojo?

    I too discovered, when doing postgrad, reading became more so the case of displeasure rather than for pleasure. But as the old saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. So, from a more recent saying, have a (reading) break, have a generic chocolate (no brand advertising here 😉 )

    Reply
    • April 23, 2015 at 6:00 am
      Permalink

      Haha River – I’ll have a word with Mr. Bullet to see if he condones the use of his pointy namesake 🙂

      I, however, need no encouragement at the moment to stop reading and eat chocolate – a mighty good idea.

      Reply

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