Watching: X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Listening to: Jurassic Park Soundtrack
Making me smile: My picnic lunch at the beach yesterday
I love to write. I enjoy losing myself in a world I've created and spending time with characters I wish I knew in real life. I became a writer because I love to read (some of you saw my book binge list last month!)
I’ll often be late, running behind, in a state of panic or guilty because I was reading a book instead of doing something else I was supposed to be doing, like cleaning, ironing, sleeping, getting ready to go out, writing…the list goes on.
Whenever my husband hears the phrase “I’ll just get to the end of this chapter” I now get a massive eye roll because, well, hours later I’m still reading. Okay, so I have a teeny, tiny addiction, but in my opinion a good one (-:
A little while ago, in an effort to be more disciplined and productive with my writing, I decided to make a list of all the books I was dying to read and use them as reward books. I couldn’t read until a book until I’d finished writing five chapters etc. Brilliant idea – stops me reading when I should be writing and provides an excellent carrot.
Image: Nikita Rogul | Dreamstime.com
It was incredibly painful at first, but I forced myself to stick to it. About three days into it, I decided only full books were on the list, short stories didn’t count. So of course, I started reading a lot more shorts!
Did I miraculously start flying through writing my chapters? Were the words pouring out of me so I could get my reward? NO. After a few weeks, all my inspiration for the story I was writing was gone. Sucked away. I was bone dry.
I remember reading an article called A week without books. In it, Bibi van der Zee details her experiment of going cold turkey on books and not reading for a week. She was worried that since she’s so addicted to books, her quality of life was suffering. In fact, she discovers the opposite.
Image: Melinda Nagy | Dreamstime.com
I finally worked out that reading helps my writing. It inspires me, educates me, motivates me and fires my urge to create amazing characters and stories.
While using books as rewards might work for others, for me it was the worst idea in the world. Now I’ve committed to writing AND reading every day. Do I sometimes read when I should write…sure. But at least when I am writing those words are flowing and I love every minute of it!
How about you? Can you restrict your reading? Can you go a week (or write five chapters!) without books?