“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ― Stephen King
I didn't read any books this past year. I have no excuses why I did this. Maybe it was my struggle with depression and anxiety as I recovered from my heart attacks and life changes because of my health issues. My mind couldn’t focus and I was unmotivated with life. At first I thought this was a side effect from having three heart attacks. My cardiologist told me I might see some short term memory loss, but this was different—it was deeper as if something was missing.
I stopped dreaming and growing as a person. My brain turned to mush, and I was dying on the inside and I didn’t realize it. My light dimmed and my world shrunk—not to mention my interaction with people was becoming non-existent. Isolation might seem like a great idea, but it only leads to loneliness and death. It's not that things were bad. I had just become an owner a coffeehouse I knew was a gift from God and I had some exciting things on the horizon. I was in a good place, my walk with God was never better and my family was doing well. I just knew something wasn't right—I was feeling out of kilter. I lacked vision for my life, and I couldn't focus on story—any story. I felt empty and lost.
But then things changed...
I went with my family and some friends to go see the movie IT and I got the adrenaline to write again—but the problem was I had nothing to say. I remembered a quote from many years ago on the importance for writers to be readers.
If you recall reading a book was something I hadn't done in over a year. So I picked up a book and started reading again. Then I started dreaming again and the fog started to lift! I got a renewed vigor to tell stories—especially stories of hope. I began writing a book and created a personal Facebook Page to share with all of you the writing journey, and hopefully you will be inspired to dream and create.
You can like my Page here: @joepuenteswrites
Here's a challenge to help us all not have mushy brains:
- Pick three books you'd have with you if you were on a deserted island and re-read them every year.
- Find an author way smarter than you and read everything they have ever written.
- Make it a goal to read one new-to-you author every year.
- At least do one of the three listed above.
Here is what I am currently reading:
Keep dreaming and growing!