Time to Read or Time to Write

readinggirlSince I’ve been concentrating on writing, publishing, and marketing my three works and my website (featuring a free exclusive short) – along with work that has nothing to do with my writing lair – I have not had the time to sit down and read a book for pleasure. As this past Friday crept in and passed on by, I realized it was another to come without posting my FridayReads book on Twitter, and it also marked the approach of another week where I had not posted any book reading update on Goodreads. All the while, my to-read list is expanding!

I can honestly say that as much as I love and need to write, I didn’t know how much I love and need to read. To settle my anticipation for Hilary Mantel’s final piece to her Wolf Hall trilogy, I got her The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher short story collection. I’ve read a couple stories in it, but I haven’t the time to read them all in one sitting. I thought I would have been finished with it by now. It’s maddening.

My books on the shelf in my office continue to stare me down. I even have the nerve to go to the library each week to pick up something, only to watch it collect dust, because I don’t have time to open it up. I’m going crazy. Almost anyone would tell you, the girl in the Johann Georg Meyer von Bremen painting above, The Reading Girl, could easily be me. I’ve always had a book in tow. Right now, it feels like I’m neglecting my closest friends who are eager to sit with me and I can’t get to them yet.

I wondered if I was alone in this, so I reached out to one of my writer groups on Facebook, asking if others left books alone for pleasure in order to gain precious writing time. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one, nor was I the only one who found it painful. Everyone understood. One offered great advice to take in a short story or even poetry from time to time, so I’m on the right track with my Mantel readings. Others shared the concern about having their works overtly influenced by their readings – which was an interesting point since I hadn’t thought about that. Others realized they would return to their readings at a later time; finishing what they were working on was important. That was the spot that I recognized wholeheartedly.

In addition to Mantel, my currently-reading list has been stuck on Joan by Sara Davidson and When Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman. So many of these great new stories are coming out and with utmost frustration, they’re out of my reach for now: The Turner House by Angela Flournoy – in tears, I’m talking to you…

My goodness, dare I say… I haven’t even yet read Anthony Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See!!! Arrgh

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it”. So understood! I’ve got blurbs of my own books to write sitting on a sheet of paper on my desk waiting to come out. Once I start on it, other ideas kick in, and I have to also add time to market those that are already out there.

Am I complaining? Hell, no. I’ve got stories out there. I’ve got readers. I’m not the only one waiting for my next story. I feel wonderful and blessed to have crossed that hurdle featuring the fear of getting out there. I’m just trying to stay out there and join my own beloved authors!

Writers: Do you keep up with your reading while you write your own works or do you let it alone for a while? Do share!

Thanks for reading! For my immediate publishing updates, please stop by my website and sign up for my newsletter. My thanks to you is a FREE ebook – Shelf Space: A Short Story!


2 thoughts on “Time to Read or Time to Write

  1. Reading vs writing can be a real struggle at times. I have a lot of books that I mean to read, but haven’t yet! However, I’ve started taking books out of the library to force me to read them within the three-week period. It’s actually helping.

    Now, to start on my own library collection…! 🙂


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