No doubt you have heard countless times that as a writer YOU MUST READ. But despite the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and online reading sites, finding time to read is really hard for working people!
My job is pretty demanding M-F and sometimes I’m on call so my time is not always my own. But as a writer I am finding creative ways to get my daily dose of reading into the day’s agenda. You might be able to try this too if you are time-strapped:
In waiting rooms – Goodness! Don’t we all spend WAY too much time waiting on doctors and dentists to see us? We can turn that wasted magazine-browsing time into a productive endeavor.
Standing in lines – We all stand in lines everyday. At the grocer, at the post office and at the bank. It’s a good time to pull out that device of yours and start reading.
On the bus – Actually I don’t ride the bus as often as I used to but I am about to get back to it. You see, my commute is about an hour each way, so in the summer I take a county bus especially for commuters. It’s very comfortable and the best thing is they have a quiet policy: once the bus starts moving, mouths closed and radios on headphones. I love it. It gives me time to sit back and read for a whole hour!
One paragraph at a time – That’s right. When I am really being pulled in every direction, this is my last resort. If I can pick up a good book and just read a paragraph, that’s enough for me to ponder over the events at that moment in the book, and consider things like: why did the author include this paragraph? Does it add or detract from the storyline? If it is really awesome, how does the author make it so?
Reading other people’s work — especially in your chosen genre — can elicit all types of ideas and really helps improve the quality of your own work. And now that you know my secrets, try them out for yourself. Oh, and one more thing, don’t read and drive!