I have a crazy long TBR list. Don’t believe me? Check this:
I use Goodreads to keep track of all the books I want to read, but I also have stacks of physical books, and my nook is filled with purchased books, library books, and manuscripts from awesome writer friends.
I love reading. Love it so much that every time I start a book, I’m in danger of losing sleep, missing appointments, and not feeding the children. I’m only sorta kidding.
But I have a problem: reading takes up the same real estate in my brain that I use for writing (note: this only applies to fiction. I can read non-fiction and write fiction. I can read fiction and write non-fiction, i.e. blogs. I just can’t cross the streams and read and write fiction at the same time.) I’ve never been one of those people that could read more than one book at a time, either (in spite of my Goodreads list, which thinks I’m reading three books).
As a writer, this is a handicap I need to overcome.
I recently read Hello Blog, Are You There? It’s Me Writer by Kristen Lamb (non-fiction! So, I can keep writing). She says there are three main components to a writer’s life:
* Reading/Watching Movies/TV
* Blogging/Social Media/Promotion
This isn’t exactly news.
But her grouping into thirds triggers my Logic Brain and I immediately start assessing whether I’m doing the things on the list. Creative Brain likes to do it out of order:
This I’m doing well, by which I mean, I spend substantial numbers of hours every day with my butt-in-chair. I’m starting and finishing manuscripts. I’m getting great critical feedback, attending writer’s conferences, and moving my craft forward. Creative Brain likes to start with the things we score high in.
I think I’m making a good effort here. Whether I’m doing it right is another question. But I have a pretty firm grasp on the basics, and have a ridiculous number of buttons on the sidebar where you can find me. I blog regularly, which is the focus of my social media efforts so far, and Kristen Lamb approves of that.
Reading/Watching Movies/ TV
Here’s where I fall down. I stopped watching TV for NaNo two years ago, and never really went back (although I have a weakness for Auggie, and Big Bang Theory is required watching in my house when it’s in season). Movies are like Red Bull for my Creative Brain, and I can manage them because I’m only absorbed for a limited time. But books … my beloved books …
When I’m writing intensely, it’s really tough for me to read fiction without getting distracted.
But I need to find a way. This is a handicap I can overcome, I’m sure of it. I just need to figure out what will work to keep my Creative Brain fed without having it wander off into Distraction Land and never come back.
Do you have any tips for me? Should I only read boring books? Or novels way out of my genre (MG and YA)?
How do you manage reading and writing at the same time?
p.s. Every Thursday, my publisher, Omnific Publishing sponsors an author blog hop (any author can join). Check it out!