My writer friend Edmund and I had a conversation last month about writers and how the best writers are very, very smart. When you read interviews with them it says things like, "Mr. Smith reads five newspapers a day, including French and Italian papers which he has delivered daily." Or their bio will begin, "After completing a PhD in biophysics at MIT, Ms. Johnson decided to try her hand at novel writing..."
Make me puke.
I barely keep up with the news. I'll catch 10 minutes of the Today show every now and again, skim the Sunday paper, and maybe log onto MSNBC. I'm not proud to admit it, but there you have it. Which is why one of my semi-goals for the new year is to read a daily paper. I'm still debating whether I want the local paper, USA Today, or maybe even The Wall Street Journal (I enjoy the writing there).
I say semi-goal because I'm not convinced I'll keep up with it. Reading a paper takes time. That's over an hour each day that will disappear from an already busy schedule. BUT, a firm goal of the New Year is to drastically cut back on TV time. For January, I'm allotting an hour a day during the week, and 2 hours/day on weekends, in case I want to watch a DVD. The point being though, I should be able to switch an hour of wasted TV viewing over to keeping up with world events. Not a bad tradeoff.
Will it make me smarter? Probably not. But I'll take "better informed" and "able to participate in conversations with some degree of intelligence," as goals worthy of striving for.
I think I'll start with the local paper and if that goes well, move up the chain. Who knows? This time next year I may have French newspaper delivered to my door. Stay tuned...