Writers are busy folks. Many of us work a full time job in addition to our writing “job”. Then there are friends, family, carting kids to events and sports, etc. Most authors I know have more than one project in the works at once with a million and one other ideas percolating in their brains.It’s always go, go, go. Write. Edit. Re-read. Edit again. Promote. So on and so forth. All of this doesn’t leave time for much other than bathing and sleeping.
Discussed in previous posts was the need to schedule a time in your busy daily life to write. In addition to that, you really ought to schedule in a time to read. No, re-reading your own work does not count towards this break time. As an author, you need to keep up with the trends and things going on in your genre. The best way to do that is to take the time to read what other authors are putting out there. Not only will it help you know what is going on, it can also improve your writing and formatting not to mention give you new ideas.
I’ve heard, on more than one occasion, an aspiring author say “Oh I like to write but I don’t really read books.” It makes me cringe. Every.Single.Time. What? Why would you even want to write if you don’t like to read? I just don’t get it. It’s often easy to spot who those authors are as well. Their formatting is an eye watering, headache inducing jumbled mess of giant paragraphs with no dialog broken out. Their plot lines are erratic, filled with holes or jammed full of unnecessary information that bogs down the pacing. I’m not saying these folks don’t have the capability of becoming enjoyable to read authors, but they need to actually read books and absorb the flow and format and how to develop their characters, etc.
I know many of us have looming deadlines, whether they are self induced or given by agents, editors or publishers, but everyone needs a break. You can’t take your laptop into the bubble bath to work and relax at the same time (those two words don’t go well together anyhow). Take a break. Bring a book into the bath. Read a chapter before going to bed. Scan some pages while your kid is at t-ball practice. Work it in however you can. Not only will it be enjoyable to loose yourself in a world of words, but it will help you be a better writer in the long run. Don’t you love the duality of that? We writers like to be multitaskers as well!