Too much of a good thing can be taxing. – May West
Too much sleep can make you sleepier. Too many sweets can make you gain weight.
There can be too much food in my stomach (we’ll prove it on Thanksgiving Day) but not too much on my table.
I’m an English literature major because I love to read and write. If you had asked me two years ago if there could be too much of either of these, I would have denied the possibility. It might have gotten loud.
Now, I’m tired of reading. Sure, most people were born with an aversion to textbooks, but I’m talking about the good stuff. Literature. Modern drama that uses comedy and satire to make statements about society should be a joy to read. Further, it should be fun to analyze and ponder and write about and discuss.
Should be – but it’s not. Even when I disagree with an author, I can usually appreciate the brilliance of their prose or see the value in their commentary. Not so. I didn’t even want to finish reading Shaw’s Major Barbara because by halfway through the third act, I was positive I wasn’t going to like the ending.
Furthermore, I don’t want to argue about why I don’t like it. I don’t want to read it again to find support for my views. I don’t even want to think about it.
Am I getting burned out because of the constant barrage of literature classes? Is the secular humanism Shaw spouts so diametrically opposed to my own beliefs that I don’t wish to consider it?
I’d like to claim this was a one-time anomaly. Unfortunately, the reading of Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Woman of Setzuan disproves that claim. Do I care why Brecht wishes the audience to stay at arm’s length? Do I find his interpretation of what makes a person “good” abhorrent? I don’t know and I don’t want to discuss it.
Of course, I have to discuss it. At length. On the discussion board for my literature class. Then I’ll get to write several essays comparing it with Shaw’s play. That will comprise my mid-term examination.
The only reading that appeals is something light that helps me escape from the deep thinking required for college. Like the YA book I finished during my walk on the treadmill – Riding Invisible by Sandra Alonzo. It’s a book I’ll be happy to discuss with my book group when we meet again.
What’s the problem?
Maybe I’m just tired from the setting back of the clock. Shouldn’t that extra hour infuse us with energy? I truly despise this semi-annual fiddling with the time. My body has its own clock – one that’s not as easy to reset as my iPhone, which resets itself automatically.
Writing begins to drain me, as well. I’m beginning to dread the short papers, the essay questions and the research papers. What I want to write is 5,000 beautiful words every week on my WIP. Even spending words on the blog seems like drudgery when the novel waits, sitting patiently in its Word document or in the Scrivener folders.
Does this mean that there is such a thing as too much reading or too much writing?
Ask me in the morning. My biological clock says its bedtime. Who cares if the clock on the wall says something else!