Monday, April 25, 2011

The Reading Problem

You've all heard it before.
If you don't have time to read, you don't have time to write.
To be a better writer, you have to be a better reader.
All writers were readers first.
Writers *must* read, read, READ!
Ok! Shut up already. I get it.
But what happens when you give in to the advice (or compulsion) to read when you should be writing?
I'll tell you what happens.
You pick up a book.
You read.
You like the book.
You discover, thanks to the handy e-reader, that the author has four more books in the series.
"Oh," you say."I must look at those too."
And you do.
And you like them.
And then, the inevitable conclusion, you read them.
You might hear a tiny, meek voice inside your head at this point.
It's soft and barely discernible.
But it's there.
And it says, "Shouldn't you be writing?"
Well, maybe you will, but you just want to finish the chapter you're reading.
(1-2 hours and several chapters later)
"I'll just finish this book and then I'll sit down with my WIP and really get some work done."
(3-4 hours later, part way through the next book)
"What time is it? Darn. I read all the way through my scheduled writing time. Oh well. I'll just work on it tomorrow."
Hey, guess what?
That author also has another trilogy and I've heard it's REALLY good.
The point?
Stop reading!
I don't mean all together, just put the delicious book down for now.
I know, I know. It's really good and I'm sure that author is your favorite and she's amazing and her characters are so awesome and she is a master pacer and she--
Here's the deal.
If you get 500 wotp (in MoMo vernacular that's "words on the page") you can read another chapter.
If you get 1000 wotp, you can read five more chapters.
See how it works?
Then the reading becomes a reward.
Like a cookie when you're mired in yet another diet.
The writing is your diet, the reading is a triple chocolate chip mocha fudge cookie the size of your head.
Now, place the book gently on the shelf, tell it you will see it again soon, and GET TO WORK!
And if you say, "Let me finish this chapter first," I will reach through this screen and snatch the book out of your hand and bash you on the head with it.
All my love,


  1. I have an excuse for reading the latest book I'm reading - I'm judging it for a contest! But for the most part, I only read during my lunch hour. Otherwise, I'd never get any writing done.

    Can I make a sugestion to this blog? Please get rid of the black background with white writing. It's too hard on the eyes!

  2. I'm lovin' this blog! It really made me think about my priorities for the day. I opted to write all day and rewarded myself with reading right before bed.
    And, I happen to love the black background with white writing. : )

    Can't wait till next Monday!