Reading and Writing

They’re in constant competition. Sofa, cup of tea, book, is my default position. I already get up an hour earlier to shoehorn some more reading time into my day and I often sit up with a book late into the night. But a serious writing addiction requires serious amounts of time and commitment, and it’s a daily struggle to achieve a balance. Lunch hours become ten minute breaks, the rest of the time spent scribbling plotlines or mulling over new characters.

I snatch odd minutes here and there in the evenings. It’s true what everyone says: foregoing an hour of television every night means I’ll have a substantial piece of work by the end of the year. It’s not easy, summoning the muse when the moment dictates, but it’s a skill I’m learning. If I’m not making any progress with the novel I’ll spend the time exercising my writing muscles in a different direction, like a short story.

But back to the conundrum: we writers must read, read, read to hone our skills. How can we hope to write with style, elegance and panache if we haven’t studied the masters of the craft?


7 thoughts on “Reading and Writing

  1. I’ll read the backs of cereal packets if there’s nothing else available. I’m also proficient at resuscitation after reading all the instructions on the office kitchen wall, while waiting for the kettle to boil.

    • I haven’t taken the plunge yet, but I’m sure I will. Think of all those holidays and weekends away without lugging an enormous bag of books! I don’t think it will mean the end of books as we know them, they’ll exist side by side happily 🙂

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