Tag Archives: time management

How to Enjoy Reading as a Writer (And Complete Those Reading Goals)

21 Jun

It’s summertime, which means beach reads are among us. Not to mention the fact that we’re halfway through 2021. (Eek!) How far along are you on your reading goals? I aim to read 52 books a year. I’m definitely not there yet. But I know a lot of us take this time of the year to catch up on our TBR pile, so I wanted to chat about books from the writer’s perspective. 

As Stephen King once said, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.” It’s a very popular writing advice quote that most writers have probably heard here and there. I tend to agree with it. Reading is an important step of becoming a writer. But what happens when you don’t enjoy reading anymore? What if reading starts to feel like a chore? 

More often than not, I hear three reading issues from writers:

  • I can’t read while I’m writing. I fear accidentally taking those author’s words and using them myself in my current WIP. 
  • I don’t have enough time to read and write. My schedule doesn’t allow me to sit down and do both, so I have to skip the reading part. 
  • I don’t enjoy reading anymore. All I do is compare my work to theirs and/or I see tropes/mistakes/what’s coming rather than enjoy the moment.  

Sound like you? I’ve certainly been here before. The one that bit me the hardest was the last one. I used to get in such a writing headspace that I felt like I was studying every book I was reading rather than sitting back and enjoying the story. Eventually, I realized that I had to consciously set aside my writing brain and invite my reading one in. But more on that below! 

Combining reading with a beautiful place doesn’t hurt either!

If you’re the kind of writer that struggles with reading, here’s some quick tips:

  • Try reading in a different medium: I love audiobooks. They are absolutely perfect when it comes to my schedule, because I can read while driving, cooking, or doing other chores. They also give me a chance to rest my eyes and hands, which often get sore between my day job and writing. I’ve personally found audiobooks to help with separating reading from writing. My writing brain is easier to turn off when I’m listening to an audiobook because I don’t write in that same format. This required some lifestyle adjustments, though. In fact, I deleted all writing advice podcasts from my phone, so that I would stop associating audio with advice. Audio is now solely a place for joy—not advice—and making sure I honor that has helped my brain stay in that happy place for longer. 
  • Try reading a genre or age category that you don’t write: This is a good fit for those of you who fear accidentally taking something from a book you’re currently reading and putting it into your own words. If you’re reading a different genre/age category, it will feel more separated than if you’re reading something along similar lines. It may also help with the comparison bug. (It’s harder to compare your work to someone else’s when they are so vastly different.) 
  • Embrace how you’re feeling: What you’re feeling is perfectly normal. I find the writers who fight these feelings are the writers who struggle with it the most. I know, because I was one of these people for a long time. I often had to find ways to beat back the comparison bug. For instance, whenever I was reading something amazing and I started to think “I’ll never be able to write like this”, I would immediately flip to the back of the book. There, I would read the Acknowledgements page and read the growing list of people who helped that author get their story to where it is today. This was a factual reminder that my WIP was still a WIP; this book was a story dozens of people had helped shape. Seeing that almost always made me feel better. So yes, embrace what you’re feeling. Ask yourself why. Then tackle it. Once you do, you’ll find a solution. 

There are lots of ways to tackle reading and bring back the joy if you’re struggling. For instance, if I read something I admired—be it a trope, scene, or even a word—I would write it down. That way, I was acknowledging something my writer brain loved, but also took a note to deal with it on another day. At the end of reading, I’ll come back and analyze it.

It may take some experimenting, and you may experience hiccups along the way, but never give up on your love for reading. So many of us started writing because of reading. In fact, if you remember those old favorites that inspired you, I would encourage you to pick them up again. Enjoy that experience again. Remind yourself why you love the written word, and I’m sure you’ll be reading again in no time!

Do you have any reading tricks or tips? Feel free to share them with me! 

~SAT

P.S. Wednesday, June 23 is my 30th birthday! Where has time gone?!

#MondayBlogs Your Perfect Workplace at Home: How to Organize It

2 Nov

Intro:

In a writing slump? I’m sure it’s happened before. In fact, it happens all the time to all kinds of writers, and there are many ways to tackle writer’s block. But what if it was as simple as changing up your workplace environment? Today, Emily Johnson from OmniPapers is showing how you can optimize your workplace environment.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

Your Perfect Workplace at Home: How to Organize It by Emily Johnson

No matter who you are: whether a sophisticated writer or a newbie, you need to have a well-organized home workplace.

As soon as you have a firm grasp of home workplace organization, you’ll see its positive impact on your concentration, creativity, and cleverness. Obviously, you need to understand how to organize your perfect workplace.

The best interior designers are often expensive, but you can make efforts to learn the art of home workplace organization right now. Take a look at the infographic by OmniPapers to find out more details concerning what your perfect workplace should look.

First of all, it should:

  • be comfortable and cozy;
  • have up-to-date gadgets;
  • motivate and inspire you;
  • keep you productive;
  • boost spirits;
  • prevent health problems.

Ready to organize it?

Demark computer and non-computer zones

You need to have separate zones for work and relax. Don’t confuse these processes, as they can impact your productivity. Time management is your helper: set up small breaks to boost inspiration. You can take a cup of coffee/tea, read a blog post at this site, or take a nap for a while.

Keep your office clean

If you want to stay concentrated, you should get rid of the mess on your table. Take away all dirty cups, throw out rubbish, hide all extra stuff. However, be sure to have items you use daily next to you: a lamp, stickers, a computer, utensils, and a digital highlighter.

Add comfort

Your perfect workplace should help you stay healthy. You’d better have an ergonomic office chair, mini elliptical trainers, and a table for work standing. Take care of your health, as it helps you stay focused and productive.

Remember: a perfect workplace impacts your productivity growth, inspiration boost, and motivation.

If you are ready to start organizing your writing desk, save this infographic. There are many details to discover.

your-writing-cabinet-organization

Bio: Emily Johnson is a blogger of OmniPapers and contributor to many websites about blogging, writing, and content marketing. She shares her writing experience with others, and you can always find more works of hers on FaceBook.

Want to be a guest blogger? Now is the time to submit. I will be stopping guest blog posts in December, but before then, I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

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