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I read more blog posts in a day than I’d like to disclose, and about 97% of those posts all pertain to writing, reading, or some other aspect of books like reviews. There are plenty of topics that are repeated by bloggers because they’re so prevalent. For instance, it would be fairly easy for me to find posts everyday about writer’s block. I’ll probably join in on that discussion at some point, but that’s not today. Today I’d like to discuss another topic that I’ve read about several times and have personal experience with.
If I write, then I can’t read. But if I read, then I can’t write.
This is the age-old question an author faces when there is only a limited amount of time for writing and/or reading. The author is forced to ask himself which is the more pressing of the two. Do I want to finish that great book I’m almost done with or do i want to sit at my computer with my head in my hands searching for the right words to put to paper? Or, I have a few great chapters I REALLY want to write before I forget them, that book on the nightstand can wait a day or two or seven.
I’m constantly reading about writers who don’t feel that both activities can be done within the same day or stretch of a few hours. STOP TELLING YOURSELF THAT! Sorry to raise my voice but I really feel that this point needs to be made. If you are VERY limited in the amount of time that you have for reading/ writing, then okay, doing one of the two is better than doing neither. But if you find yourself constantly forcing yourself to pick one over the other for no apparent reason other than to do so, then stop it. Right now. When have you heard of an author who doesn’t read? I’ve read about bestselling authors who read several books a week! All while writing. Now, I understand that it’s different when they don’t have a regular job, but the number of hours they spend writing is not something any person can accomplish.
The point I’d like for you to take from reading this is that you don’t always have to choose one over the other. If you have a great book that you’re finishing up, then go ahead and finish it and your manuscript will be there waiting for you once you’ve finished. I promise. Or if you have a string of chapters that are just itching to get out of your head and onto paper, then go right ahead and type them up. But there’s no reason to stop your reading altogether because you’re working on your first novel or for your writing to take a backseat because you’ve got your hands on the newest Stephen King book.
If you love writing then I know you love reading, don’t end your relationship with one because of the other. Three IS NOT a crowd this time.