Experts in the craft of writing says that to become a good writer, one must both read a lot, and write a lot. But what if your writing is getting in the way of your reading? (or the other way around) Can we make a compromise?
Reading and writing for me
Before I became a blogger (and writer), I was reading books at the rate of 2-3 books per month. Right now, though I still read books, I’ve realized that I’m now reading fewer books than before. The simple reason is I write (a lot) more now.
Though, I can cut-off other activities such as surfing the internet and playing video games, I simply won’t do that (for now). No matter what authors or educators tell us, life is not all about reading and writing — we got to experience life’s other joys, too.
That said, I owe a lot to reading, though. For all I know, if I haven’t read the books that I have read, I couldn’t have written more than half of the blog posts in this blog, simply because I wouldn’t have the ideas to begin with.
Ways to read more and write more
Reading is important, but so is writing.
Now, the question is, how can we have more time for reading and writing?
I can think of a few ways:
- Cut-out time spent on other activities.
Ouch. Does that mean we need to cut back on leisure activities, such as playing games and going to parties?
If we are really that serious about reading and writing, then I suppose we should make some sacrifices.
The good part is it doesn’t need to be done daily. We could simply pick-out days of the week when we wouldn’t do other activities, aside from reading and writing. In my opinion, cutting three days a week is the bare minimum.
- Have writing days, and reading days.
If you’re a blogger who blogs 3 times a week that means using your non-writing days as reading days.
But, if you publish blog posts every day, there’s still a solution. That is, you can write 2-3 posts on some days, then publish those posts on separate days.
Though, you need to pass up on this method if you prefer writing every day.
- Use idle time for reading or writing.
For instance, if you commute to work, you can bring a book or pen-and-paper (or tablet) with you. In 10 minutes, you can write a paragraph, or read a few pages. It may not be much, but over time it will add-up.
In my experience, reading is easier than writing on a public place — only because writing demands more energy and concentration from me, but that may not be the case for other people.
Those are 3 workarounds I can think of. No. 1 are for people that are serious and ready to make some changes; no. 2 are for people who like to organize their activities; and lastly, no. 3 are for busy people who want to make use of their time productively.
If you’re really hardcore you can implement both 1 and 3 simultaneously, just remember to take it lightly on some days, or else you’ll burn-out, and probably lose your enthusiasm for reading and writing, not good.
Reading and writing both takes time. If you like to do both, then you need to strike a balance. Either cut on other activities; write on some days, while reading on others; or make use of idle time, either for reading or writing.
Image credit: from Flickr by Ron Mader