There are some writers who I enjoy as writers more than I enjoy their writing. Stephen King is one of them. Doris Lessing is another. That’s not to say I dislike their writing, but I don’t respond to it as well as to what they say about the practice of being a writer.
I’m really noticing this lately. For nearly a month I’ve been “reading” Doris Lessing’s first novel, The Grass is Singing. The book is slim, only 218 pages – and I just finished Chapter 3.
Normally I have no qualms about walking away from a book that just isn’t doing it for me, but with Doris it’s different. She’s Doris Lessing. She’s my imaginary writing mentor. I used to have a picture of her on the wall above my desk, her to-the-point expression chiding me if I slacked off. I feel like I’m duty-bound to finish this book. And it doesn’t help that it is highly-rated on Goodreads. It makes me wonder: Am I the weirdo?
I think I will have to call a spade a spade soon, though. My library is full of books I am excited to read. Why not give them a chance? Hell, a few of them are even Doris Lessing books. Maybe she’ll forgive me.