I get really frustrated when I can’t find the time to work on my novels, outside of finishing up school, maintaining both my blog and my online magazine, Write 2 Be, trying to keep up with Social media and market myself the way that I should be doing (which I still haven’t mastered yet), and of course, trying to be the best mother that I can be. What frustrates me even more is when I can’t even find the time to read like I want to.
I think that I have been reading the same book for months now (which normally I can read a book quicker than that) and it’s not that it is not interesting or that it is slow because I find myself thinking about the characters and what is going to happen when I am not reading it. I see other writers who have this balancing act down in such a neat and tidy way that you would never know (until you actually sit down and talk to them) that they struggle with these same time constraints as the rest of us writers.
It’s funny because I keep trying to rearrange and arrange again my schedule for writing, for doing school work and for everything else and it would seem that the more that I try and tweek the schedule and the time constraints that the less time I seem to have to write much less to read. However, reading is something that is extremely important for a writer to maintain and it is primarily the reason most of us writers even began to write in the first place.
So I thought of some other tactics that maybe I could try to better fit reading into my daily routine. I thought that maybe I could share them here with you, just in case I am not the only one who is struggling with trying to fit reading into their day.
1) Don’t mix your reading time in with your writing time—I’ve tried this before. I don’t know why I thought that it would work but I quickly found out that this does not work, at least for me. Now granted I have seen people do this. They will write for a few minutes, put their writing aside and then pick up a book and read for a few minutes. I guess this works for some but I think that for the vast majority this does not do anything but make you wish you were reading while you are writing, or vice versa.
2) Make sure that you read a book that holds your interest—I know that it is said to be a bad thing to stop reading a book after you have already started it and once upon a time I would have agreed with this. However, there is no point in wasting time reading a book that is not of interest to you either because it is too slow or it is just not captivating enough. You will save time by just moving on to the next book which, if you love it, will probably take you no time to read.
3) Just like you schedule your writing time, schedule your reading time too—If you have a hectic writing schedule and you have a deadline looming over your head, then you just have to find a way to work reading into your schedule. It may feel odd to have to do this for a task like reading but we fit so much of our daily lives into boxes on a calendar, why not add our reading (down time) to the list.
4) Make your reading time your down time—Use your reading, not as a chore that you must do, but rather as your time to wind down and wrap up your day. Perhaps read a few pages before going to bed which will still keep your mind feeling creative but allowing it to, in a sense, debrief, for the end of the day.
5) Treat Reading As the Norm—You have a routine for most everything that goes into your daily workload and your comings and goings. You know what time slot is for what and how to take a few minutes away from this time block to make room for this other task in the next time block. So make reading apart of your regular routine. After all it should be!
I hope that some of these suggestions work for you. I think that they are already beginning to work for me and I am almost finished with this book and have the next one picked out already. Just remember that a good and avid reader makes for an even better writer!
The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)
Writing as “Jaycee Durant”
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