My post last Friday began with, “I don’t have time to write… or do I?” Silly question. If we’re novelists, we make time, because our passion for storytelling drives us to get the words out.
But what about reading? If we’re writers, making time to write can be challenging enough. Who has time to read? At a workshop a writing colleague said she crammed her writing into isolated moments of busy days and evenings, and there were absolutely no other free moments left. If she chose to read, she wouldn’t be able to write.
My thought is, if you aren’t reading, and reading extensively, you probably aren’t much of a writer anyway. Sorry, I know that’s blunt, but that’s how I feel, and I’m not alone.
On Jessica Morrell’s website she has a column entitled, “Reading and the Writing Life” in which she says, “The only way to become a writer (and I’m paraphrasing Stephen King and many others here) is to read a lot and write a lot. Reading is part of your job; in fact, it’s a huge part of your job. I’m writing on this topic today because I keep meeting writers who are writing fiction or other genres, but don’t read it. In fact, I meet writers who don’t read much at all. They claim they don’t have time. I don’t get it. You’ve got to make the time. Reading like a writer is living like a writer.”
I admit to the luxury of having more free time than many people. I read every moment I can, yet the pile waiting on my TBR shelf is constantly growing instead of diminishing. There’s never enough time to read everything I’d like to, but I keep trying.
I’m the last person who ought to offer advice to another writer struggling with the time dilemma (although I’ve occasionally tried), so I’m asking for your input:
- On average, how much do you usually read?
- What genre do you read? And is it the genre you write?
- When do you do most of your reading?
- How do you ‘make time’ for reading?
I hope you’ll join me here on Friday for an interview with author Jody Hedlund
as we celebrate the publication of her second novel and give away a copy of it.