Read Smart; Write Better

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

One of my two goals for WBM was to finish writing the rising action of my novel. The other? To avoid reading when I should be writing. If you’ve read past posts, you know I love books. I can’t imagine a writer not. But I think like anyone, especially when you feel stuck, it seems more inviting to get lost in someone else’s words rather than fighting a losing battle against your own.

Personally, I am not a fan of all or nothing “diets”. I believe in allowing ourselves moments of pure hedonism, balanced with discipline and hard work. I think balancing the ying and yang of pleasure reading and the mind, and at times soul, consuming work of writing is healthy.  My mantra: Read smart; write better.

However, believing in something and practicing something are two different horses. So at the beginning of January, since that’s when we make resolutions to be more disciplined, I decided to really crack down and get back to having a specified reading day. In the past I’d flirted with this before, but like any habit it takes time to really change one’s behaviour.

Since Saturday is already our family’s R&R/Hygge day, it made sense to spend my personal free time reading. It feels fantastic after a long week of work and weaving in time to write to sit and read, knowing I am not stealing from the time I’ve set aside to work on my novel.

In addition to giving my brain a little candy, I’ve also seen other benefits of giving myself a reading date. Over the past few weeks, I have become more aware of the tenets that make good writing. I have become more productive during my work time because I am not fantasizing about reading. And, I have found that at the end of my Saturday read-a-thon, I’m would rather write that evening than pick up my book.

This feels like a win all around.

Happy writing…and reading!

P.S. I’d love to hear how you weave reading into your daily/weekly routine. Please share below.

6 responses to “Read Smart; Write Better

  1. I like the idea of the set-aside, guilt free reading day. My current technique for fitting in reading time is to use audiobooks. That way I can enjoy reading while doing mundane household chores like laundry or washing the dishes.

    • Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

      That’s a great idea. Do you wear headphones? I’d be nervous about doing so with out since my book selections at the moment are mostly not age appropriate for my kids. But Mid-grade novels in the car would be fun!

  2. Those who know me have heard me say this before, but I am a bathtub person. While I’ve been known to do some of my best writing and editing while soaking in the tub, it’s also where I do a lot of my reading.

  3. I have always been a binge reader. I’d love to be able to read books for a while then put them down, but it has never worked for me. Instead, I don’t read for 6 weeks or so, then binge read. Admittedly, that’s not the best way to schedule life. *sigh*

    • Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

      I admire that you can go that long. I think I’d have withdraws and sneak read in the bathroom like someone trying to hide they’re not smoking.

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