Life of a bookworm (Opening up my cabinet of curiosities # 3)

Austin Kleon‘s book “Show Your Work” has a list of questions that bring out the creative mind in you. I decided to answer all the questions, one by one, in order to express my creative side in a personal way. Today’s question is:

What do you read?

What I choose to read has certainly changed with every change in circumstance as I grow older. When I was younger, novels predominated. Now that I am looking to root myself in the real world and shut off the dreamland that preoccupied my waking hours since I was eight years old, I choose biographies, memoirs, humorous books and non fiction. I still sneak a novel or two in sometimes, for old time’s sake, but novel-reading is no longer the intense activity it was, the way it used to be when I was a child/teenager. Somehow, the novel addiction has weakened. I suppose that’s called growing out of something.

Non fiction is something I am definitely growing into. During a book fair last year, I picked up basic books by heavy-duty names like Ghazali, Rumi and Iqbal. One book was actually about how Rumi inspired Iqbal, so it was about both of them at once–I really enjoyed that.

Now that I am past the grueling college years of student life, and have some time unburdened by academics, I am looking forward to sinking my teeth into some good non fiction reading, with the topics of interest being the history and lives of Muslims in South Asia. I also want to place particular emphasis on an introductory study of Quran and Hadith. For Quran, I would be following my online “Quran Program” classes at Zaynab Academy Online, as well as reading up on the sections taught in class by looking them up in reference books, namely Maariful Quran and Tafseer Ahsanul Bayan. For Hadith, just to get started, I will be reading and reflecting upon Riyadh us Saliheen. May Allah accept my intention and increase me in all that is good.

I have always been an ambitious reader. Every book has somewhere to take you and something to teach you. I aspire to go somewhere and learn something every day of my life, and books make it possible for me. Here’s to another year of happy reading. See you at the bookstore!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Readwrites: your procrastination is my “novel research”

wpid-56d0708a-9a5a-4a56-a464-2ab0c29a2d3f_20150721000453193.jpg

That’s basically what the name of this site means. Iqra=”read”, so “readwrites”. “Iqra” is my name so of course what I really mean is “I write”.

The funny thing is that I’m moving between reading and writing like a ping pong ball being bounced on a table between two players who definitely don’t want the ball to fall on their side. Writing a novel seems easy enough, just sit down and start writing until you stop. That is, unless you get sidetracked by, let’s say, a book on writing. Then you want to read a well written book, you know, just to see an example of good work. Of course, what actually happens is that you get discouraged by reading excellent writing. “I can never pull that off”, you say, tossing everything aside and opening the black hole of the Internet: Facebook.

Once you travel through the black hole and get thrown out on the other side, you realize that you have some non-novel writing to do. So you do it. After which you have no more energy to write, so you start watching a video instead.

The good thing is that nowadays I’m listening to the Leadership workshop by Nouman Ali Khan. It’s relevant. Come to think of it, everything is relevant. Like the author¬†Bob Mayer says, living life gives you material for your novel. That means all procrastination is actually novel research work.

When push comes to shove, what I really need is to stop addressing the intangible “you” and talk about myself. While living life instead of actually writing and posting #amwriting tweets is all fine and dandy, that novel isn’t going to write itself. So why am I writing this blog post instead? I put this into the “exercising my writing muscles” category.

After I’ve exercised my writing muscles, read about writing, and listened about leadership, it’s time to…live life. Yup, actual novel writing time is not here yet. Hey, I do have 1800 words down (unedited), which I really should stop bragging about on the Women Writers, Women’s Books Facebook group,¬†and not just because there are published authors there.

How about a goal to write at least 1000 words until next Friday’s blog post? Let’s see.