Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Strange Thing

It started about a month ago, I think.

I checked out books from the library, but couldn't get them all read before they were due. Previously, I read about two, maybe three, books a week.

This is what my current stack of books-to-be-read looks like....

I used to sneak away and get lost in the covers of whatever book I was devouring at the time. During the day I'd think about the characters and what I thought might happen next. And I couldn't wait to get back to them. Often I'd spend a large chunk of my writing time reading. 

But not now. And it  dawned on my what was going on. (yes, sometimes I'm pretty thick)

Finally, I want to write my book much much more than I want to read other's books. I sneak away every chance I get to jot notes about magical devices, wicked creatures or funny characters. I'm outlining chapters, layering clues and dropping hints which lead to a massive twist. I love a good twist. And I think about my characters and what will happen next to them all day. I think about the happy moments they'll have. I think about their secrets and wants. I think about the trouble they're making for themselves. And I think about their trials. How does this make them feel? How do they react? How does this bring more trouble their way?

I love this. I love that I'm finally more excited about my books than the shiny books from the library. And that's not to say I'm giving up reading. No, that would crazy. But right now, reading doesn't have the same pull for me as writing. However, hopefully I can find the time to dig into, at least, a few of those in that stack before they have to go back. Because there are some really brilliant looking books in that stack. 

So, what about you? How do you keep the balance? Does reading eat at your writing time? Or are you already obsessed (like me) with your own book and don't find the time to read?


  1. Reading definitely eats into my writing time if I let it. But when I need inspiration or feel stuck in a slump (like now), reading pulls me out of it. My bedside table looks very similar to your stack!

    Hope you get to most of them, but I'm happy for you that your writing is taking over! Yay, you!

  2. I need to borrow some of your obsession! I still read a lot (last week I think I read 5 books. Seriously. Although that's a little unusual--usually it's only 2, maybe 3). Part of my problem, though, is that I read during meals sometimes--and it's hard to write and eat--also right before bedtime (not a good writing time for me). But I should try to invest more time in writing than reading! On the other hand, I've found some great books . . .

  3. I read from my tablet while I walk the treadmill three times a week, and after I've written for the day, have no more creativity to generate and it's time to fuel the tank. I set the goal to read a book a week and am ahead of that, but find if I stop reading, the writing slows as well. Balance in everything, right :)

  4. I've dicovered the thing that works for me is to be absolutely committed to my writing time (hubs and I put it on the calendar, usually) - it's 3hrs minimum - usually at one time once a week. All this wonderful planning goes completely out the window when I have a deadline --then it's grab-every-moment-'honey, I have to get this TURNED IN!' time. As for reading, I discovered the hard way that I have to read an entirely different genre than what I'm working on. If I was writing a contemporary YA and tried to read contemporary YA - it does one of three things to me: 1.) muddies up my thinking/gets in the way 2.)pyches me completly OUT with how good it is, mine is craptastic by comparison, I'll never write like this! spiral into not-working/artistic doubt 3.)leaches away my enthusiasm for BOTH the book and MY writing - because I get more bored. It'd be like eating a ton of lovely strawberries and then getting - more lovely strawberries!

    So, I switch up genres. I read and write, but can't read and write the same genre at the same time anymore. If I ever did.

    ps: I have a deadline Friday. I'm supposed to be writing RIGHT NOW. I have a bigger prob with internet than books! lol! :)

  5. You're in the same place I'm at - reading just doesn't pull me as much as it was before. Good dedication - keep at it.

  6. I still read, but not as much as I used too. Still, if it's a really good book, some days I lack the discipline to put it down and get back to MS-especially when I'm in revision mode.

  7. I try (and frequently fail) to spend no more time reading than writing. (In this context, "writing" includes all the particulars: plotting, drafting, revising, even reading my own current project or critiquing something for someone else.) Now that my pad has entered my life, e-book reading has helped tremendously with maintaining the much needed balance.

  8. I was nodding the entire time I read this post. I used to read constantly and obsessively; but as I started writing more, I stopped reading. It wasn't even a conscious decision, it just happened. I miss reading, and I try to make time every once in a while, but I'm still pretty bad about keeping up with it.