I can’t begin to tell you how many times in a given day I use to get so caught up in reading and studying that I lost track of the time. Next thing I knew I didn’t have enough time left in the day for my writing. Can you relate? If so, here’s some advice to help you tackle the dilemma of reading and studying so you can get your writing done. And if you think I’m going to suggest you cut reading and studying out of your habits, think again! Reading and studying, in my opinion, makes us better writers. Therefore, both should definitely play a part in your writing career, and the good news is there’s a way to work all three into your writing life. I’ve been applying the following advice to my writing career for a while now, so I know it can be done, and today I’m more than happy to share my strategy with you.
Add the Activities to Your Schedule
Take Advantage of the Bookmark Feature on Your Browser
If you come across an interesting article, blog post, story or etc., bookmark it and read it on the day you’ve scheduled a free reading or studying day. Same goes for all those newsletters and e-zines you’ve subscribed to, and since those usually arrive in your inbox, just move them to the “read later” folder.
As for books by your favorite authors, do as I do, read in bed. I like to read before I go to sleep, usually two to three hours, depending on how good the book is, of course.
Take One Day a Week for “Me” Time
I just started doing this five weeks ago, and I love every minute of my “me” time! This is basically a day off, which is something every writer needs to recoup. You can use this day for whatever you like. For example, on my “me” day I update my website with new information and/or resources, read the newsletters and e-zines I placed in my “read later” folder, read articles and stories on the Web, go for a drive or walk, visit friends or family I haven’t seen in a while, get some things done around the house that I’ve put off, plant flowers, play games with the kids or whatever I feel like doing. Then, when the next day arrives and it’s back to work, I discover that I’m ready to go again, and the creative juices are back to their natural flow.
There you have it. That’s how I tackle my reading, writing and studying dilemma: with a schedule. One last tip, when you sit down to make that schedule (or update one you’ve already written out), schedule your paying clients first, and then include everything you want to do in terms of reading, writing and studying. Yes, this includes trend or other research as well. Your schedule is, of course, part of your work schedule, and reading, writing and studying are all a part of writing, because they help you become a better writer, wouldn’t you agree?
Do you have any tips for tackling the reading, writing and studying dilemma? Please share your tips in the comments area.
Photo by John-Morgan