Monday, April 21, 2008

Reading vs. Writing

I seem to be in a reading phase instead of a writing phase. I try to get into writing but invariably I find myself reading something instead. I believe reading is important for writers. It helps expand your awareness of styles and ways of seeing things, but it shouldn't keep one from actually writing for prolonged periods. Or should it?

Does a writer have to write on a daily or on a every other day basis? Or can they skip a week or two, read and let the muse rest? I suspect there is no one correct answer, but it still annoys me that I'm not writing. Well, I'm writing this blog, so that's something, but not what I had in mind. I have several stories that still need work to be finished and others that are still in first draft status and need editing. At the very least there are agents and publishers I could be submitting to, if I were writing the query letters they need. I feel like I'm playing hooky from work, but I'm not happy about skipping it.

I need that creative outlet. There is something about getting out onto paper all the ideas and conversations and settings that calms me and makes me a happier person. When I'm not producing something, I get cranky and difficult. So you would think it would be no big deal to shift and get back into writing since it makes me so much more agreeable. Unfortunately, it isn't working.

I sit at the computer and end up reading the stuff I've written and I can't even get into edit mode. Then I start surfing author websites for any snippet they've put out there for people to read. There's a lot out there. All for free. Of course, then you get hooked and want the whole book. Borders, here I come. Oh, wait, I'm supposed to writing. Not shopping for new books to read.

So I go back to my own pages and try again. This cycle is getting old. I hope my muse returns soon from wherever muses go when the writing gets difficult. I really need to get something going soon or my book budget is going to be ruined. Borders or Amazon may be happy, but my bank balance won't be.

So, anyone have any tips for focusing and switching back from 'reading' to 'writing'?


BernardL said...

If I drift away from writing, starting a new draft of something completely random fires me up again. This can be a problem, because I have a completion compulsion. Whatever I start, be it reading a book, writing a book, or a simple everyday life task, I have to finish it. Like you, reading is a tantalizing vice I cannot stay away from. :)

Virginia Lady said...

PErhaps that's why your Layla series is appearing daily, huh? (And I'm very glad to see it) Thanks for commenting, Bernard.