A Dangerous Side Effect of Becoming a Writer


So if you're reading this, it probably means you're a writer. And whether you are full-time or whenever-you-can-squeeze-it-in, published or taking steps in that direction, it seems many of us suffer from the same affliction once we decide to "get serious" about this writing thing.


We cut our reading time.

Sure, it's not intentional. We only have so much time and we want to grab every second we have to chase this dream. And that means writing, writing ,writing...and blogging and tweeting and facebooking and researching the craft and querying and building a brand and creating a website and ooh, a newsletter, and wow, Tumblr. And oh yeah, my spouse/family/children may want to see me every now and then without a laptop attached.

It's like Alice's rabbit hole. Things start swirling around and we get sucked in to being constantly busy. Making us forget what started us wanting to be writers in the first place...

Books. Reading. Getting lost in a story.

Case and point - My Reading Stats:
(I started writing again at the end of 2008.)
2009 - read 85 books
2010 - read 40 books
2011 - have read 26 so far

This obvious decline makes me sad. Something that used to be such an integral part of my life is becoming an afterthought. I literally have an entire bookcase of unread books staring at me.

And I know it's not just me. I hear the same story from other writers. And once you've got a contract and are working on a deadline, the problem gets even worse because now there is this expectation on you--one you can't fall short on.

And this doesn't just affect your entertainment/downtime in your life; it affects your writing. If all you do is pour out words and never refill the well with reading, you risk your creativity going dry.

New stories feed our muse. They challenge us. They expose us to new things, other types of voices, different styles. Imagine if a film director said he rarely gets time to watch movies. We'd look at him like he was nuts.

Reading helps you become a better writer. It makes you a happier, more balanced person. It reminds you why you spend so many hours typing away on that keyboard in the first place.


So I'm challenging myself to look hard at my schedule and find a pocket of time at least three days a week to read. An extra hour on Twitter may raise my Klout score, but an hour lost in a book will feed my soul.


And my reader soul feels downright anorexic right now.

So how about you? Do you find yourself cutting out your reading time more and more to do more "writerly" things? Do you find your creativity stalls if you stop reading for a while? How big is your TBR pile? 

“...a sexy, sizzling tale that is sure to have readers begging for more!" –Jo Davis, author of I SPY A DARK OBSESSION



CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order!

Read an excerpt here.

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