Monday, 10 October 2011

Question: Does writing make you read less?

I've thought about this quite a lot of late. I used to read voraciously. As a child, I used to get two books out of the local library every day in the school holidays, then return them the next day and exchange them for two more. Once I was so busy reading as I walked back along the road home that I walked smack into a lamp post and nearly bashed in my front teeth. When I commuted to Collins in Glasgow from Stirling, I read books like War and Peace on the train. When I had to travel to London on business from Scotland, a book was always my faithful companion. This was guilt-free reading. At home, there always seems to be something I should be doing instead.

And of course, I now write. Writing takes me deep into the world of the imagination, the world that books offer. Only now, of course, I'm creating the world rather than entering someone else's world. I find it so deeply, thrillingly absorbing, that a) it's hard to come out of it and b) there's little time left for other worlds.

I do still read, of course I do. I read my friends' work. I read recommendations. And when I read, I'm always learning more about the craft of writing.

Sadly, though, there just aren't enough hours in the day for all the things I long to do!


  1. Jenny I was just talking to a published friend about this. How do writers manage to read at all when there are so many other things to do which are related to writing? (blogs, twitter,reviews, promotion, web sites) I slope off to bed earlier and earlier as it's the only way I get some reading time in- and the kids leave me alone, but it still takes me far longer to read a book than it used to, and I find that I start to think about the novel I'm writing and just want to get out of bed and write some more!

  2. Not enough hours in the day - boy do I relate to that. I always have a book somewhere close to hand - and it bemuses my husband greatly that I can be reading several different books at the same time. One is in the upstairs bathroom, another in the downstairs loo, another on the bedside table, several on the Kindle and one in my handbag just in case I happen to be graced with a spare five minutes.
    However - I'd still say there's never enough time to do all the reading I'd like to do.