Reading Time: 2 minutes

words439898Before I became a writer, I was a reader. Never fewer than three books going at once. Bought blank journals with hand-stitched bindings and filled them with notes and quotes to set this or that sentence in amber so I could safely set it on the shelf and forget it.

Them days is gone.

Becca went looking for me this morning and found me in the recliner in my second floor study, facing a huge window with a southeastern exposure, blasted in the light and heat of that fantastic rising yellow star, you know the one. My favorite morning place. The cup of coffee at my side didn’t surprise her. The book in my lap did.

“Omigosh, you’re reading.”

For the last two years, I’ve spent my whole waking day with words. Between my freelance work, books and book proposals, speeches, columns, and this blog, I write about 3,000 words a day.

The variety is delicious right now. On a typical day, I write about parenting, public education, nonviolent peacekeeping, and transforming everyday work into service. I’ve never had such an engaging professional life.

But in the process, I’ve apparently killed the reader in me. When I close the laptop at 5, the last thing I want to see is another damned parade of those 26 letters and 10 punctuation marks, no matter how new and clever their arrangements. As a result of my daily eight-hour word bath, I have (aside from actual research or books I’ve blurbed) finished maybe three books in two years. Maybe.

The Meming of Life is now averaging 45,000 visits a month, and I do my best to earn that. But recently, when I open my panel to see what’s on deck topic-wise, I find drafts that are gonna require a lot of, you know…words… before they are ready for prime time. The last four “best practices” for nonreligious parenting. Kids and alcohol. The music I want for my funeral. A courageous woman who recently went through much the same galling B.S. I did at the College of St. Catherine. The fantastic Genographic Project at National Geographic. A post titled “Vegehumilitarianism,” whatever the hell that was supposed to be about. And 23 more. Sometimes I’m just plain out of words for the day, and I close the panel again. Sometimes not.

I’ll get to them all eventually. In between times, while you’re waiting, here are some things for y’all to do:

  • If you’ve read Raising Freethinkers, be a love and write us a review on
    or Barnes & Noble
  • Register for a PBB seminar in New York (March 28), Portland, Oregon (April 18),
    Seattle (April 19), or Indianapolis (May 30)
  • Friend me on Facebook
  • Become a fan of Parenting Beyond Belief on Facebook (NEW!)
  • Join the PBB Discussion Forum
  • Read a book for me and tell me what it’s about — in mime, if you don’t mind
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    Dale McGowan is chief content officer of OnlySky, author of Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, and Atheism for Dummies, and founder of Foundation Beyond Belief (now GO Humanity). He holds a...