Writing Insights #4: Reading vs. Writing

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Not all readers want to be writers, however, most writers are avid readers. So, how do you combine the two? Let’s talk about that in today’s Writing Insights!

I’ve decided to go with Reading vs. Writing as a topic this week, because it is something I have been struggling with lately. As a book blogger, I don’t just read for fun, but I also feel like it is my duty to read a decent amount of them each month. (Don’t worry, I am not reading just because I have to. I also want to. How couldn’t I!? Reading is the best!) But ever since I started concentrating more and more on my writing again, I found it difficult to combine those two worlds.

The first reason of why it isn’t easy is simply that I love to immerse myself in the world that I am reading about. I bet you like to do the same, but the problem is that as soon as I am all “Uuuuh, I love the villain!” or “Don’t hurt my precious baby!!!”, I don’t waste a single thought on my own characters anymore. Their story just sort of drifts out of my mind and I don’t want that to happen, but apparently I am a very single-minded person and it still does. More often than not it feels impossible to focus on both things and like I have to choose, even when I really don’t want to, because in addition to aforementioned quality, I am also greedy and want all the things at once.

Also, I sometimes feel like I am influenced a lot by what I read, which is a good thing, because it means the writer did their job well. However, I don’t want those influences to immediately show in my writing.

So, what do I do?

  • I always carry a notebook with me just in case, but I’ve dedicated certain days are meant for writing. I won’t even touch a book on those, except if I am in a really, really interesting part or need to finish a chapter for closure-reasons.
  • When I am done with a chapter, I reward myself with some reading time. I don’t even really limit this at all. If I feel like reading an entire book afterwards, that’s what I’ll do. If I just want one chapter then that’s okay too.
  • I am never fighting my mood. Gut feeling is everything and I’ve learned that forcing myself to read OR write never ends well. If all else fails, I’ll just watch a TV show.

How do you balance your reading and your writing? Do you have any tips?

Lastly, I’ve already announced it in my monthly wrap-up, but I’ve uploaded my WIP Arcadia to wattpad. As of right now there is the prologue and two more chapters on there. If you are interested in reading the story, please click here. I would appreciate all and any kind of feedback, emoji response or whatever you can think of! You can always leave a comment, shoot me a mail or send me a DM on Twitter!

 

24 thoughts on “Writing Insights #4: Reading vs. Writing

  1. I have this exact struggle, except I find reading wins too often… When I have a project, I get addicted until I’m burned out, and the great thing about reading is that a book ends before I get burned out. Having dedicated writing days is probably a really good idea! Things like NaNo would really help me too, if I was dedicated enough to try that

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  2. So first things first, I ended up being busier than I thought yesterday afternoon, BUT I am dedicating part of my day to reading and loving and telling you all about my feels on your WIP, Kat ❤ ❤
    I literally said YES out loud when I saw there was a new post in this series. I love this series so much, and I completely relate to this struggle. I wrote a lot last week, and managed to read a decent amount as well, and now… I just read when I'm in the commute and that's it. I don't write. I didn't write a single word in more than a week and I am disappointed in myself, but… time. I need more time obviously to do it all ahah. I love your idea of doing some writing, and some other reading days. I need to try that. But I'm more at ease writing on the computer, and I don't have a computer in the commute, and I don't have time on the evenings. Ugh. Life sucks sometimes.
    Such a great post, wow sorry for rambling too much hahaha

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have the same problem. I’m kind of writing a book and the idea came to me over night. But every time I’m reading a book that has an amazing world described I picture those elements in my book and it loses originality. And I have to shake it of and think how to make it different. I understand your struggle and I think you have an effective system. No other books on the day your writing your own. Very nice post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I am glad you could take away something that might help from this post. I am no expert, so I just make it up as I go along too, but it is difficult to not let your story get too influenced by others, right? Good luck with your writing 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t even start..I start reading a book and I read an amazing plot twist and I say to myself: what if my story had that? And then I’m like: nooo, stop! It’s a real struggle :/
        Thank you so much and good luck to you too 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I am not a writer, but my sig is– and he really struggles with this. Plus, he gets lost in the writing of other authors and falls in love, so when he comes out of his love-obsessed stupor, he is mopey about his writing for days after. I love the idea of dedicating time to writing, not reading. I’ll be certain to suggest it to him!

    Like

    • I hear you (or his struggles)! I admire other author’s writing so much sometimes, that I get frustrated with my own work too. BUT I also think that we all have our own talents and should not force another person’s voice if it doesn’t come natural.

      Like

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