Friday, July 10, 2009

Writing Readers, Reading Writers

"A REAL writer reads," declares an Authority On The Subject.

I am so relieved, because I read all of the time. AOTS would be really proud of me.

I read in the morning because I no longer have the stamina to stay up all night to finish the book. I read while I'm at the desk because I need "a little inspiration." I read when I should be editing in the late afternoon because, darn it, I'm tired and I just want a break. I read at bedtime because it helps me get a good night's sleep. On a good reading day, I can get through two, even three novels. My TBR ("to be read") pile is huge, but I am the tortoise, crawling through it book by book.

Of course, there is this other aspect to being a writer that AOTS did not mention . . .

What about you? How much do you read in a given day/week/month? If you write, do you feel you keep a good balance between getting your words down and reading other people's books?

12 comments:

  1. Absolutely. The more I read, the more I write. More specifically, the more I'm invested in a book, the more I want to write something of my own. Books inspired me to write in the first place, and whenever I'm in a drought, I go in search of a book. Doesn't always do the trick, as I'm getting pickier as I get older, but... There's definitely a connection. I imagine most artists do the same thing.

    And yes, this is some saucy fun!

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  2. I should point out, as well, that the quantity of what I read fluctuates greatly. Sometimes I'll decimate two books in a week, other times it takes me a month to get something read. Or longer! There's no balance here. I think it's mostly chaos. :)

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  3. I read about two books a week BUT I am writing a new project and having a hard time reading my CP's stuff, much less something else.
    I have about 75 TBR books teetering on the edge of my night stand...death by books...hmmm not a bad way to go:)

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  4. It's always a tug-o'-war between whether to read or write; I usually end up doing both. I read about a book a day -- less, when I'm intent on revisions. I can't sleep at night until I've read at least a few chapters.

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  5. Hmm, I can read about 3-5 books a week-- depending on the length, of course. I enjoy shorter novellas and anthologies, so I can get through several stories at a time.

    My current habit is to read genres I'm interested in writing or to research a particular agent or publisher. Yes, it gets in the way, but I don't feel it's a total waste. It's all for the craft!

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  6. How much I read is in direct relation to my place in the 'creative cycle.' If I'm in the throes of the first draft, no dents are made in the TBR pile. However, once I finish that draft and in between revisions, huge dents are made along the lines of 1-2 books a day.

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  7. We all "eat" books, don't we? KAK, what you say about the "cycle" makes sense. During that first draft, there's little room in my head for anyone else's story. Becke, on the other hand, slows her reading pace for the revision stage. Natania--I love that you write more as you read more. Ro--I'm a seasonal antho reader. For some reason, I like 'em around Christmas. And for Pete's sake, Tonya--move that pile! We need you around here.

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  8. I agree with KAK! I do have that tendency to not read when working on a first draft and that's where I am now...you know writing that next National Best Seller...
    I'm going to move my pile to the closet, like yours, so it won't kill me!

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  9. I probably read too much and write not enough. It's a paradox. And I find myself reading more when I'm stuck on a particular scene and don't know how to finish it. Reading is my "acceptable distraction."

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  10. Jen,I'm trying to keep a notebook/pen at hand when I read to further justify the "acceptable distraction."

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  11. No balance what so ever. I'm either writing way more or reading way more. Have yet to strike a balance. When I'm all reading I kill a book a day. When writing I kill 3-5 pages a day.

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  12. Crystal--I'm with you. No balance. I'm a binge/purge kind of personality, and I'm starting to try to think of work in terms of blocks rather than daily tasks.

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