Reading – A Writer’s Dilemma.

This week, I’m going to talk about my reading addiction.  As I’ve mentioned before, with 2012 being the National Year of Reading in Australia, it’s a great incentive to encourage more to take it up. I’ve been encouraged to discover new authors, read books from authors I’ve wanted to try for some time and re-read old favourites until they begin to fall apart in my hands.  Being on Goodreads, I’ve taken up the challenge of reading fifty books this year alone.  Maybe a tad ambitious as I’m starting to get behind, but like any true addict, I just can’t help myself!

Now as a writer, we are told to read, study our genres and learn what’s out there.  It’s one of the ways we can help perfect our craft.  However, if you’re anything like me, one tends to out-weigh the other and therein lays the problem.

In her book, The Writer’s Workout, Christina Katz says to write more than you read.  Like everything else, balance is the key; be choosy about what you read.  That really hit home for me, because the trouble is there are so many books out there.  Admittedly not all of them are great and I prefer not to waste my time trudging through a book that doesn’t ‘do it’ for me.  As writers, it is best to know what genre/s we like and stick with them in order for us to write them well ourselves.  Writing our own stories should be our main priority if we want to make it in this business.  Perhaps reading should be seen as one of our rewards for a job well done.

I need to ease off on my reading addiction in order to make writing my No.1 priority.  Maybe then I can also reward myself with my other addiction – chocolate!

Are you addicted to reading? Do you read more than you write? Have you read any good books this year? Are you on Goodreads? How many books do you read a year? What is your favourite genre/s?

Free image by Anusorn P nachol courtesy of

Are You Addicted to Social Media?

Lately I’ve been spending a fair amount of time on social networks, so much time that I am almost becoming addicted to it.  Being such a solitary occupation, it’s good to meet other writers, discover what they’re writing and joining in on discussion boards.  The problem with all of this of-course is when does the writing happen?  Somehow my writing has dwindled down to a poor second place.

The timing of this post was perfect.  I’ve been reading JA Konrath’s A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing (which I heartily recommend, by the way) and follow his blog.  Once again, he gives me the kick in the pants I deserve.  Where exactly does all this social networking get you as a writer if you’re not writing?  You need to be showing that you are actually putting the effort in and getting your work published in order to maintain the interest of others, otherwise you will just be seen as another ‘wannabe’.

As writing is seen as a business, the way I am managing my way around this issue is to come up with a schedule and stick to it.  If the unexpected comes up, make up for that amount of lost time.  After a certain amount of writing has been reached (a word limit or number of hours for example), then and only then get onto social networks.  See it as a reward for your writing efforts.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some work to do.