We’re all told that if you want to write stories, you need to read them. It’s one piece of writing advice that cannot be disputed. But when you’re writing a book, it’s not always easy finding the time to read.
Most writers have full-time jobs, families and other commitments that fill most of their time. So, when we finally decided to sit down and write our own, we often need to sacrifice a lot of our free time to do it. Trouble is, the time we sacrifice is often the time we spent reading. You know.. The thing we did that inspired us to write in the first place. Crazy, huh?!
Well, today I’m giving you the excuse you need to read, play and binge-watch Netflix. Why? Because if you don’t consume stories you will run out of inspiration. You will empty your creative well, so to speak.
I don’t know about you, but when all of my time is dedicated to creating
— whether that be stories, blog posts, newsletters, even Instagram posts
— I begin to feel drained, both mentally and physically.
Over the last 6 months I’ve been working on mastering the consume/create balance in my day-to-day life — and while I’m far from perfecting it, I have picked up some habits that have helped me juggle both consuming stories and creating them.
This is, by far, the easiest form of media to consume. Plus, listening to a podcast or audiobook makes me feel like I am learning and growing as a writer while I’m doing other mundane activities such as walking the dog, working out, cleaning or driving.
I listen to a couple of different podcasts, my favourite being Writing Excuses and That Smart Hustle. I’ve been thinking about dedicating a blog post to the writing podcasts I have been listening to. So, if this interests you, make sure to let me know in the comments of this post.
Want to write a book? Then you need to develop a writing habit. This is the number 1 piece of writing advice every writer gives — and it’s true. If you want to write (and finish) that book consistency is key. However, if you don’t want your creative well running dry when your halfway through writing your novel, you need to make consuming a habit, too.
I subscribed to a writing magazine, at least 2 days a week I read an article or two with my morning coffee. It’s not much. But small and frequent doses are often enough to keep your creative well from running dry.
Just like you prioritise time for your writing, you need to prioritise time for reading, too. After all, you can’t expect to write a good book if you aren’t regularly reading books. I set aside one day each week(Sundays) for consuming content that will fill my creative well. I work an extra hour or two 4-5 times a week to allow myself to take this time. Of course, if you would prefer to space out your free-time throughout the week (perhaps an hour each evening) you could do that, too. Find a routine that works for you and stick to it. I guarantee your writing will benefit from it.