I've long compared the art of music and language. I once went to a writing group and we went around the room, reporting how much we had written that month. One lady got uncomfortable and reported with some frustration that she had only written a few pages in the last year.
I thought that was so sad. Who cares? A few pages ever is a good thing. In the art of music and painting, amateurs abound. They become better consumers, and they get more enjoyment and understanding of the art. It's a good thing for them, good thing for the professional musicians and artists.
And so I've said that language should be the same way. That writing groups and organizations should encourage and embrace writers: both professional and amateur. Amateur used to be a noble word, but lately it's lost its respect.
The basis for my beliefs has been that amateur musicians understand and enjoy music better.
But I realized, yesterday, that understanding what an author is doing does not make me enjoy reading better.
I was reading To The Nines, and I was so annoyed when she introduced the murderer. As soon as she described him, I knew that he was the murderer. When I read a mystery, I try not to figure out whodunnit. But when I stumbled across the killer in To The Nines, it felt like he was waving a huge red flag and saying, "Hey! It's me!"
Luckily the characters are awesome enough that I didn't mind too much.
But in general, I find that my reading enjoyment often gets interrupted by noticing the techniques or reasons and author is writing something. It's jarring and annoying.
And my patience for books has significantly decreased. Once upon a time, if I started a book, I'd finish it. I was a book slut and I loved it and reading was fun. Don't get me wrong, reading is still fun.
But not as fun.I had the same problem with music. After playing and listening to it for eight to ten hours a day, the thought of listening to music for enjoyment was like more work. I craved silence. So has your writing practice improved your enjoyment of books or decreased it?