All’s going well in my continued unofficial participation of National Novel Writing Month. This morning I was back to revising chapters I had already written in my first draft. Everything was going well until I started looking back at my original layout for the book and realized some of my early ideas that weren’t used in the first draft and are more exciting than some of my current sections. Guess some rewriting is in order, but that’s what the revision process is for.
Also, in a kind of part four to my notes about the Brazos Valley SCBWI conference, I wanted to mention something else Kim Griswell said: That if we’re serious about writing, we should be reading at least one book a week — at least one!
I read slowly, so I’m lucky if I finish one in a month. But even if you’re a fast reader, finding the time to read one book in a week is hard, much less more. I’m talking about novels, of course. It should be pretty easy to get in at least one picture book. But as Kim pointed out, you should read what you want to write. So, if you’re like me and writing a novel, it’s probably tough to fit that into a schedule filled with a day job, cooking, laundry … oh, and writing your own stuff.
But, what Kim said is right. Reading is very important. It helps us become better writers. So, how to fit it in? Here’s a few ways I get it in my schedule.
1. Read while brushing your teeth. Lay the book out on your bathroom counter with a bottle of moisturizer on it to keep it open and read during that two-minute brush. It’s not a long time, but you can get a couple pages in. You can also extend it to reading while putting on your moisturizer and brushing your hair.
2. Read while drying your hair. I have long hair, so this is a good 10 to 20 minutes for me. Mine doesn’t take much styling, but I flick my eyes up to the mirror every now and then to make sure I’m not completely botching my hair.
3. Read while cooking. If the rest of the family is otherwise occupied during this time, keep the book open on your kitchen counter and read a few paragraphs or pages while the spaghetti is boiling.
4. Read while walking your dog. If you have a dog, of course. Now, this is something I have been doing for years, but people look at me strangely when I say I do it, and it’s usually followed with the question, “Don’t you trip?” Although that has happened a few times, mostly no. But if you’re not comfortable with walking and reading, stick to other ways of getting reading into your schedule.
5. Back to personal hygiene, read while taking a bath. If you have time to soak in the tub for a bit instead of having a shower, bring the book in for a few pages before you soap up.
Anyone else got some tips on fitting reading into your schedule?