To write more, you need to read less. (With the exception of this blog of course!)
How much you read directly affects how much you write. True? False?
As an avid reader, and a fast reader, I love to get lost in a good book, or two, or four. There’s nothing I love more than to get cosy on my recliner with my blanket, my kindle and a cuppa and spend the day reading. Of course, nothing much else gets done! *Sigh*
Besides reading wonderful historical romances, (my fav), I also read a lot about writing. And marketing. And blogging. And a few other non-fiction books that will help me to write faster, better and be more successful.
So what’s the down side to reading so much? You guessed it. No writing gets done. Uh-oh! Then we get discouraged because we didn’t write. And it’s a downward spiral from there.
It’s all a matter of discipline. *Shudder* Yep. It’s time to put that book down and write. You won’t get any better or finish any projects by just reading. You have to write, write, write.
Now, I’m sure you know this already. But easier said than done.
What I like to do, and it works quite well, is to reward myself with a reading session. If I can get a scene written, or a blog post done, or edit a chapter etc… I can then relax with a good book.
The same goes for house work. If I can get the bathroom cleaned then I can get some writing done. Or vice versa. Depending on what needs to be done, I try to arrange my day by breaking up my writing/reading/cleaning. This also helps me to get up and move around more often which reduces muscle pain and headaches/migraines and eye strain. Setting an alarm every half hour or hour is very helpful because, let’s face it- time flies when you’re deeply immersed in a story.
Here’s an example of a typical Monday:
7.30am Get up and get the kids ready for school.
8.15am Drop the kids off.
9am Walk then stretch then shower.
9.45am Half hour – hour writing.
10.30am Morning tea.
10.45am Clean loo and bathroom.
11.15am Half hour – hour writing.
1pm Fold laundry.
3.10pm Pick up kids.
3.40pm Afternoon tea. Reading, check emails etc…
5pm Make dinner.
6pm Eat dinner.
6.30pm Read or write.
8.30pm Get kids to bed.
9pm Read, write or watch movie.
It doesn’t always go that way but I get close if I’m having a good day. It’s a guide so I can change a few things as each day can be different.
As you can probably tell, on a good day, I can get at least two to four short writing sessions done. Sometimes I’ll write for longer because I am on a roll and have to keep going. Sometimes it won’t be that easy to write so I’ll just get the minimum done. If I don’t get much done during the day, I try to write at night when the kids are asleep (no distractions).
A lot of successful authors write in between other jobs. On the train before work and after work. At lunch time. At night. Early in the morning before the day really begins. (Totally not me!)
If you’re struggling to get enough writing done, don’t think that you have to get it done all at once or you’ll become discouraged and not want to write at all.
Break it down.
Give yourself a treat and read once the writing is done.
And give yourself a break. It’s hard. But over time, if you can write regularly, whenever you can fit it in, you will get there. And before you know it… you’ll have finished. Yay!
While it is important to read, make sure you don’t read so much that you don’t write.
I hope you found this blog helpful. I’d like to know your thoughts so please comment below.