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.

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