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Read or Write?

June 8, 2011

Pursuant to my previous post… let’s say you’re a writer.  If you’re a writer, it’s a given you’re also a fan of reading.  And let’s say you’re in a position such as that found in said previous post: you’re reading a book, and now you’re in it deep, and you can’t put the book down.  You. Must. Finish. Reading. This. Book.  And you still have a ways to go.

But of course, you also have writing goals.  Daily writing goals.

So, what do you do?  Do you read the book?  Or do you try to focus on writing?  How do you divide your time?

Discuss.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2011 6:49 pm

    I can’t read while I write. I try to, but in the same way I can’t work on more than one story at once, I either need to just read (and put the writing aside for a day or two) or write.

  2. June 8, 2011 10:32 pm

    I do both. I have designated writing time and doesn’t overlap with my reading time. So, it’s usually not an issue for me. However, even the days I don’t write, I still read. In fact, I rarely miss a reading session. Hmm.

    • June 9, 2011 8:25 am

      So you keep your time and schedules for the two separate? Good plan; that way you’ll always have at least some time for both.

  3. June 9, 2011 1:26 am

    I try to do both, but honestly I get so distracted with random ideas and insights that come to me in the middle of reading that I sometimes have trouble finishing a chapter, let alone a book, lol. Isn’t that sad? (Reading short pieces doesn’t seem to bother me this way, though, just novels.)

    This has only been happening fairly recently, too. Maybe that’s just my subconscious’ way of telling me I need to focus on one thing at a time! “You’ve got your own story to finish writing; why are you sitting here reading everyone else’s?!?”

    Of course, I want to continue learning through reading and absorb as much as I can, but my muse seems to be advising I do otherwise. (*whispers* I think she knows my occasional tendency to get caught up in perfectionism. *yells* Curse you, muse!)

    • June 9, 2011 8:35 am

      Ha, that’s an interesting problem. Sometimes when I’m writing I do get hit by the Idea Fairy’s Loving Mallet of Inspiration ™… but honestly, it doesn’t happen that often for me. I’ve no doubt that what I read influences my ideas for what I write, but I think the process is slower. My problem is, I can get so into what I’m reading, if I let myself, that the world outside the book ceases to exist. I’ve literally completely missed things happening around me because the book I was reading was more compelling.

  4. June 9, 2011 9:28 am

    I have to be careful when I’m doing both, since with some authors I start writing like them (Hemingway mentioned that he had this problem as well). I have a few things which I can look back on and know that I was reading Douglas Adams at the time. I start writing in his extremely distinctive rhythms. The only problem is that I’m not funny (well, not in the way he was, and certainly not as funny as he was, though I do occasionally write something that cracks me up), so the rhythm is there but not the laughs.

    • June 9, 2011 9:47 am

      That’s a good point – I thin that’s a real danger, and not specific to you at all. I believe I’m guilty of this, as well. For short stories is less of a problem. But when writing a longer work, I can see this being something that can really mess up a good chunk of manuscript.

  5. June 9, 2011 2:04 pm

    I would love to say I power through and write … but I don’t. I always take the book over writing. It’s like a drug I can’t resist.

    • June 9, 2011 2:16 pm

      Heh, that’s the challenge I’m dealing with right now… I want to write, but I really want to read.

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  1. Writing Progress: Week Ending June 11, 2011 « The Undiscovered Author

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