“I don’t really read anymore.” I’ve seen several writers say this. And every time, readers and other writers gasp in outrage. HOW can you be a writer if you don’t read?! And I gotta say, I understand the confusion. It’s weird to think of writers not reading. I couldn’t imagine being that writer. Until it happened to me.
My face when writers say they don't read.
The more I write, the less I read. And that’s not to say I don’t read at all. I do. But I don’t read nearly as much as I used to. It’s partly because there are so many other ways to occupy my free time these days. There are a billion and one things to binge on Netflix and HULU. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a new movie every week. My dogs want to go outside for walks. And Twitter has some sort of unholy hold on my attention span.
But the other part of it is that I spend so much time in my head, coming up with plot bunnies, outlining, and actually writing, that when I do have free time books are no longer the first thing I reach for. I sort of feel like I need to take a break from the pictures in my head – and yes when I read I do see it as scenes in my head – and let someone else do the work of entertaining me. Hence, the Netflix bingeing. Also, I tend to write so late into the day, that when I settle down in bed or on the couch to read, guess what happens. If you guessed I fall asleep and wake up hours later with my face smushed under my Nook, you guessed right.
Or, I’ll sit down to read and then remember that I have to answer an email or approve a cover or update my website or write a blurb or drop a giveaway prize off at the post office or, or or. So much to do! And all of it takes away from my reading time.
But I still love reading! That won’t ever go away. Except now, I have to purposely make time for it. I started Saturday Relax Day a few weeks back as a way to stop working for one day out of the week. I fell into a pretty unhealthy habit of working and writing seven days a week. No wonder I was so stressed!
Giving myself that day to chill and do something fun means I have dedicated time to read. I spent this past Saturday reading comic books. (Check out Marvel’s Iceman. I believe it is their first major LGBT character with his own series) Next week I’m going to dive into one of the unread titles waiting for me on my Nook. My Goodreads status update has shown I’m reading Sam B. Morgan’s Love By Design for about three months now, so I’ll read that one first.
Since I’ve been a binge reader for practically my entire life, it probably won’t take me long to fall back into the habit. I’m just glad I noticed how far away I’d drifted from my true love before it got too out of hand!
So for all those writers out there who say they don’t read anymore, I understand where you’re coming from now. I feel your pain and I hope you can get back into the habit. Writers, have you noticed this happening to you? And readers, what do you think? Do you hate me now for admitting I don’t read as much as I used to? I’m still one of you, I promise! So when I come knocking at the club house door, asking for book recs, be kind and let me in.
Thanks for reading!
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My rambling and not at all edited thoughts on romance novels, writing, and pop culture.