My last post was A Writer READS, but that is sometimes easier said than done. When I first started writing, this was one of my big concerns. All of a sudden, I was required to read current books, books within my genre, books ON writing, as well as books that would expand into other genres so that I could be “well-read”. With all the writing and editing that occupied my time, when was I going to be able to read all that?
I mentioned before that I tend to focus on one thing at a time. I will work on writing or editing, but when I need a break, I read. This is what works for me, however, there are other ways to sneak in reading time.
The newest trend in books is listing to an audiobook. This isn’t the 2000’s anymore. No more tapes or CDs. Audible, AudioBooks, other audiobook sites, and even your local library can provide these. Now you can download them to you most convenient devices and listen to them at your leisure. Isn’t technology awesome!? You can make dinner while someone else reads a book to you. Doing mundane things is no longer a waste of your time. I can clean my house and still feel productive as a writer.
If you are someone who says you don’t have time to read, this may be the perfect solution. Audiobooks make it so easy. If you think it’s hard to read when you are an unpublished author, just wait until you have to attend three times as many cons and go to dozens of book signings. This leads to my next tip…
Make Time –
If you haven’t figured this out yet, a writer need to start letting go of unnecessary time wasters. Whether you spend hours on Facebook, playing video games, or watching your favorite shows, something has to go…maybe all of them. If you’re on Facebook, it should be to reach an audience. This doesn’t mean that you should never watch a television show or go to the movies. Just be mindful of your time. After training yourself to minimize these time stealers, you won’t miss them because you will resent the minutes they take away from your writing.
Reading To Your Kids (my favorite tip) –
When my children were young, I got into the habit of reading them a bedtime story every night. As they got older, they were able to read on their own, so I stopped. What a waste! Before long, I realized I was missing out on some easy reading time. If there are books that I want to read and I think my kids will enjoy, why shouldn’t I utilize that time? Now we read one chapter every night from an appropriate book that just happens to be a book that I wanted to read as well. Let’s not forget that reading to your children is something that teaches them to love books and it’s a tradition they will always remember. A lot of writers feel that they don’t get to spend as much time with their children anymore, and this is a great solution. It provides quality time that just happens to benefit you.
With all three of these tips, I have been given a chance to read, sometimes, three books at a time. I can listen to one, read another, and read to my children without getting overwhelmed. Mostly, I’ve found that reading one book for myself and one to my children works best. You can look in my side bar and see that I am using and loving this system! You should try it.