This year I want to read more. Reading is important for any writer and I love to read and I have a huge stack (ok several stacks) of books about my room. Just when I think I am making a dent in these piles I see something or interest, or buy another book or some kind soul lends me a book or two (or six in the case of one good friend recently).
I use to read every day but this habit slipped over the last little while now that I’m living with the parents.
And then there is the non-fiction reading – articles and blogs and books. I have a kindle app full of them, partly read. I get a swathe of articles every day in my inbox. And it can start to impact on my routine. I can happily read away but I still have other things to do, writing amongst them.
So I set time.
Putting reading on my to do list ensures it happens.
I take at least 15 minutes every night to read fiction before I sleep. More time when I have it.
Sunday mornings for all the blog articles I’m really interested in. Some I skim through and move on, others I mark and then I can take my time and fully enjoy them. I will sometimes use my lunch time for reading, but also use that time for the gym and writing, so it is usually booked up with other things, but occasionally reading is a nice break.
I discussed setting research time last week because I can easily get lost in a book. Reading beyond what you expect or planned is useful (as M commented last week). Reading an article about a female footballer (American college football) last week (and yes that was way off any track) led to an idea about my protagonist that could have been a problem that I hadn’t considered.
If you are writing around a day job (as so many of us are) the time to write, read and research is limited and I think it is essential to book time for these different parts of the writing process.
It is important to set time to (a) make sure it gets done and (b) make sure it doesn’t overtake other things on the list.
Image: Miss Auras by John Lavery via Wikimedia Commons.