Friday, January 13, 2012

Reading and Writing Time

In looking back over 2011, I realized my goal of reading more fantasy books failed short of what I wanted. I didn’t know how to separate my writing time from my reading time, which led me to read less. If I did one, I couldn’t do the other. So I went into an extreme mode to complete one of them at a time. I read books in two to three days or went into a writing frenzy for just as long.

At the same time, I felt reading someone else’s fantasy book will influence my own voice for my book if I wrote the same day as I read. Yet I needed to remember my writing is a product of the novels I already read and there is no way of getting around that fact.

The only way I know of to help get both do at the same time is to set up a minimum number of chapters to read and hours to write each day. There will be no more writing until I overextend myself. No more reading chapter after chapter because I couldn’t put the book down. By setting these limits, I know I won’t get stick on one or the other and I will have more time to do both of them on the same day.

And most importantly, I’m leaving myself hungry enough to keep going.

Because if you really want to write more, but you always cram in more hours each hours to do so, how do you feel at the end of the week? Wanting to write more next week? I’m less likely to write the next week because I’m burnt out from all that writing in one week. By writing as little as possible each day, I set up myself to continue the next day and the day after that. But I will finish a novel in a few months.

Back in middle school and high school, I read a few books a week. By the time I entered college, I barely read a fiction book in a couple of months. My time became limited and I stopped reading all together for months at a time. I missed out on really great books because of this. With the idea of reading two or four chapters a day, I can keep up with the current fantasy books being released but not enough to stop myself from writing or from finishing my other tasks.

My plan has been in motion for the last few days and it has been working out great. Do you have a plan to keep the two going at the same time?

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