I like to write because I am a voracious reader. I have severe time constraints (don't we all) and find myself in a constant battle of whether to write or whether to read! It is a continuous dilemma and I wondered if any of you have faced the same conundrum?
[This message has been edited by Lissa (edited January 17, 2011).]
I absolutely love to read as well and my queue of novels is too many to count.
I am not a great listener, but audio cd's from the library to and from work is one thing I've worked in. I also try to read in bed before going to sleep and write in the voids when I have time (e.g. weekends or lunch hour at work).
I posted a few weeks ago asking about tricks for finding time to write. You may be able to find that thread as well. There were some useful comments.
I don't think you'd find too many professional writers who would recommend to forgo reading. It goes hand and hand with the craft.
Oh yeah, and one other thing. I reserve my posting and internet surfing to my droid. That way I don't waste valuable writing time on the net.
I had a similar problem until I started listening to audiobooks on my commute. I highly recommend it. I have gotten through many books that way.
Posts: 1993 | Registered: Jul 2009
| IP: Logged |
I often have this problem too. I am lucky now and I work the Graveyard shift with a lot of down time. I pass that time with reading and save my writing for my free moments at home. I find reading is easier for me to stop for interruptions to perform my job.
Before I started graveyard work, I was barely reading anything and my writing noticeably suffered from the lack of it. While one can read without writing, they certainly can not write without reading.
On the Audio Books: I just don't enjoy them. I know that is a personal preference because I know countless people who swear by them.
I'm currently in editing mode and I find it very difficult to read more than half an hour. Even when I do, I seem to look for grammatical properties of the book.
Posts: 1271 | Registered: May 2007
| IP: Logged |
Certainly I got into writing from being a voracious reader. (Is that how you spell "voracious?" I was thinking it had a "t"...) But it wasn't the only factor. I used to take inanimate objects and act out things, often things I'd read or seen. A deck of cards would emerge as heroes and villains and go on quests...these clips would become spaceships and zoom around...even the books themselves would take on characters and motivations and act out things. (I was doing this into my twenties, I think.)
My reading has dropped off considerable over the last few decades...however, so has my writing...
I could never get into audiobooks...usually when I listen to things, I want to listen to music (and, sometimes, news or even talk radio). Even then, it's limited. I don't listen to music at work because, early on, I found it too distracting from the task at hand. Audiobooks never connected with me---I haven't tried that many, to be honest---and I think I'll stick with the printed word, short of some catastrophe like losing my sight...
Yeah, audiobooks certainly don't replace the written word. I would never cut out reading all together, but for the car ride it makes sense (I've grown tired of political commentary and dislike most music on the radio these days).
I unwillingly tried a new strategy last night: insomnia. One hour of sleep couples well with finding time to read. I fear this will segue into my second unwillful strategy: calling in sick for work! However, last time I tried that, I couldn't even make it through stargate episodes on netflix.
I'm a 2nd shift production worker and read during my breaks. I also read for about half an hour after I get home before I go to bed. Helps to relax me and let me unwind so I can sleep.
One other time I read is the few seconds waiting for my computer to bring in certain sites for me to view. Some take longer than others, and I can sometimes read an extra page one paragraph at a time .
I have to strictly manage my time for both reading and writing.
For writing, I (currently) don't allow myself to do anything else until I've finished my wordcount quota for the day. This means getting up very early (which is not bad - fresh mind, no distractions).
For reading, I read during my lunchbreak and I make sure to read for about half an hour before bed. It's not a huge amount of reading time, but I have to do it - if I stop reading, I find my interest in writing wanes and my interest in whatever I'm doing in its place grows. Mind you, reading a book I dislike can have the same effect...
I agree with Foste... Reading, at least for me, is what drives my every desire to write. I remember ever since I was a very young boy reading and reading and reading. That was (and still is) what really makes me want to write.
About audiobooks, I personally think they are great. Definitely not the same, however, an almost perfect substitute, specially when you have to spend close to 2 hours in the car each day getting to and back from work.
Hmmmm, I'm not sure I like the idea of listening to "someone else" interpret the written word; I find that to be half the fun! Although, I can understand it if you are trapped in a car or something.
I like the suggestion of not allowing myself to read until I accomplish some sort of word quota. (Robert, it is with a "c.")
[This message has been edited by Lissa (edited January 18, 2011).]
A good reader on an audio book actually does more to enhance the book than detract. Most of the audiobooks I've read are more acted, than read. They do different voices and usually get the inflections quite good. If you go to audible.com, you can listen to a sample of any of their books. Try 'Leviathan' by Scott Westerfeld for a good example. Or anything read by George Guidall - he took me through Crime and Punishment by Dostovesky and it was fantastic.
I should say, that I was a skeptic too. I only got into audio books because my boyfriend, who is legally blind, got me into them. All I say is to give them a chance before you say you wouldn't like them.
I read in all kinds of strange ways and places.
I have inexpensive book stands in the kitchen and in the bathroom. I read (compulsively) while drying my hair each day (I feel weird if I don't have something to read while drying my hair!) I read when I am home solo eating breakfast or lunch (I try not to read when dining with my family, lol.)
I have a Barnes and Noble Nook eReader, and have discovered that the nook app syncs to a number of other devices, so I can (and have, though it's not my primary way of reading) read on my phone at the gym (did that once when the Nook died.) I love reading the Nook while on an exercise bike or treadmill (I hate exercising so I read to distract.)
I also always have an audiobook going with the kids, so we "read" books in the car. Even the few minutes trip to school and back every day adds up. It's to the point now where my son says as soon as we get in the car "turn on story please!" I'd have to look back at my book log to check, but I think we read 15-20ish stories in 2010 this way.
I've recently started to run, which is hard to read during, so I've also picked up playaway books from the library to listen to while running (if you're not familiar with them - they are small audio players about the size of a pack of gum. They take a AAA battery and have a headphone jack and the entire audiobook is on the small device on a lanyard. The kids love these so we each read one this way, too.)
Basically I try to fit my reading into my day at times when I couldn't or wouldn't be writing, that way I don't feel guilty about spending the time!
Good luck, it *is* a delicate balance for us voracious readers and writers out there!
I read in different places around the house, and have different reading material stacked up around it. I have some here at the computer---a little light reading 'cause I'm reading right here, but occasionally I get bored while downloading. I have a bunch of stuff around my padded chair in the living room---while I watch TV I'll dip into something. (Most of my new books are piled up there, some still in their original bags.) I have some stuff next to my bed---usually I read a few pages and then turn in. (That's where I attempted War and Peace, one chapter at a time.)
And I have some stuff on hand for, er, when my butt is communing with the Porcelain God---I usually work my way through a series of books, often comic strip collections. A while ago it was the Complete Works of Cathy "Cathy" Guisewite. (Actually not so complete as I don't have all of it to hand, just the books and the final three years in printouts pasted into spiral notebooks.) From there it was a series of political books. Next week, maybe "Cathy" again (I have an itch to tab the books with sticky notes to mark my favorites), or possibly "Stone Soup" (I've got a new book on order for that one.)