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You Are What You Read

Freelance Writer's ChocolateBy Helen Kaiao Chang

I’m doing a media fast. Cutting news from my mental diet altogether. No newspapers, weekly magazines, online news sites, or TV news.

The only thing I read is the occasional newspaper headline when I pass the vending box on my way to the grocery store. Or the Google headline at the top of my inbox. Or a TV blurb at my boyfriend’s house.

Yeah, I’m a journalist by training. But these days, I’m focused on ghostwriting books.

I’m more interested in savoring elegant, umami-laden memoirs and novels now, not chowing down fast-food reports that I used to read – and write – as a journalist.

It is said that you are what you eat. Well, as a writer, you are what you read. Since I want to write great books, I’m reading great books. Had to cut the toxins from the reading diet, and unfortunately, many news reports are toxic.

Thank goodness I have a boyfriend to call me, in case there’s a devastating fire or earthquake coming my way.

I must admit, I am a happier person now. On this diet, I have had the luxury of spending time with writers Sue Monk Kidd (“The Secret Life of Bees”), Abigail Thomas (“A Three Dog Life”), Brenda Ueland  (‘If You Want to Write”) and Elizabeth Gilbert (“Committed”).

I feel like I’ve been eating dark chocolate bon bons filled with cherry liqueur, while soaking in a hot, jasmine-scented bubble bath.

My spirit is infinitely nurtured, and so is my mind.

At some point, I’ll start reading the news again. But only when I’m ready for more heart burn.

Helen Kaiao Chang is a ghostwriter, editor and journalist, specializing in business and motivational topics. She may be reached at www.ghostwriter-needed.com.

Would time away from news help your writing?

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Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Hope is definitely allowed here… so is success.

  • I just read this post. It is soooooooooooooo well written!! And it makes me feel less guilty when my husband chides me for being so news illiterate. However, as I ride public transportation to work, I do get lots of reading time. Lots of time reading quality writing — all in hopes that great writing will flow freely from my fingertips. (One can hope, can’t one??)

  • Anne

    I’m sort of a news junkie, but I do listen to other than standard stuff on the ‘net.

  • I tend to avoid the news on a regular basis as well. My wife supplies me with the goings ons.
    .-= Christopher´s last blog ..What T.A.P.S. Can Teach Us About Business =-.

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