So you need to write. And you love to read. How do you find time for both? Some people don’t read for pleasure at all while engrossed in a writing project (such self-discipline!) Some limit what they read, steering clear of their own genre – a writer of historical romance might read true crime; an epic fantasy writer might go for biography. There are a couple of reasons for that: not wanting someone else’s style or ideas to rub off on one’s own work, and finding a contrasting genre mentally refreshing, like a mini-vacation.
The issue for me, and probably for most of you, is that I love reading a bit too much, have done since I was a small child hiding away with my library books instead of doing my homework. If I pick up a novel, in particular, I’m likely to become engrossed and let time slip away when I should be spending both my time and my mental energy writing my own book. But these days there’s always a deadline. I don’t have the luxury of chucking the ms in a drawer and forgetting about it while I devour the latest bestseller. Right now I’m juggling commitments in relation to five books: still doing interviews about the one released last month, preparing for another new release in November, checking Australian and American copy edits for a third and trying to get on with writing a fourth, whose deadline is too close for comfort. Book Five is a collection of short fiction, for which I’ve only just finished the last story. Time to read? Not nearly as much as I’d like.
But I do crave a good recreational read, can’t do without it. I’ve posted here before about choices for times like this: classics, YA novels, old favourites. This time I went for the old favourites and learned a couple of things about why some endure and some don’t.