Monday, November 30, 2009

Losing Focus

While scanning my Google reader the other day, I came across this wonderful nugget from The Greenhouse Agency's Julia Churchill. She was describing her wish list, what kinds of books she's anxious to find (and acquire) these days. Almost at the end of the post she penned this paragraph:

"The most exciting moment in my job is when I’m reading a submission and my professional eye loses focus for a minute. I stop appraising the manuscript and for a second I’m a reader, invested in the story and asking myself ‘What is going to happen next?’ So yes, I have a list of stories I’d love to see, but really all I am looking for is that moment when the shift happens - all of a sudden I become a fan, rather than an agent. The moment that I start to see through the page and beyond the words to the scenes, characters, feelings and drama below - that’s what I’m looking for."

Though I'm not an agent, I can relate! A couple weeks ago I was bemoaning the fact on this blog that I couldn't even read a good book anymore without analyzing it and picking it apart and trying to figure out what I'd do differently. It's a curse, I tell you. A curse!

Right now I'm reading Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. And, oh joy! I've stopped analyzing. It's so different than anything my brain could come up with that I am letting myself go. Enjoying it. As Ms. Churchill wrote, "My professional eye loses focus for a minute."

May I read many, many more books that make me lose that horrid, curse-like focus....

And, thank you, Ms. Churchill. Well said.

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