Wow. Still not over that miracle goal at basically the last possible second. So excited!!
Deep breaths. Deep breaths.
For today’s You Tell Me, a question and hopefully conversation starter: do you spend more time writing or do you spend more time reading?
And is one or the other better or more important?
Rosie E. Scott says
It depends. Sometimes I read a lot, and other times, I write more. If I really get into a certain author or series of books, then I will spend hours devouring their work; and sometimes inspiration will come from that for my own work, where I need a little motivation. Reading or writing, I get lost in it, and often spend 8-12 hours at a time doing whichever I am doing.
Melanie Beuken says
I spend most of my time reading. I always do a lot of research for my writing projects, but I also enjoy reading for its own sake. I try to read as many different things as possible. Often I just pick a book, because I like the cover, or because it is in the bargain bin. 🙂 Reading has taught me a lot about writing. Plus, I really like reading.
Tessa Quin says
It really depends on where I am in the process.
If I'm writing the manuscript – that's all I'm doing. If I'm editing, then I read tips, blogs, articles, my writing books, etc. as well.
In between I read books of my genre, because research and keeping up with the market is important.
Nowadays, more writing than reading.
Used to read like there was no tomorrow, but now I'm lucky if I can read one book a month.
oh dear, it probably should be writing but reading outweighs my writing time by quite a lot. probably why i take ages to get a chapter done lol.
I'm more reading for now.
I spend more time working on my cartoons. I am like the toon energizer bunny.
K Simmons says
You need an "it depends" option! When I'm in the middle of a project, it's writing all the way. When I'm in the brainstorming, research or editing stages, I spend way more time reading.
I've vacillated over the years, and certainly every November writing wins, but lately I've spent a lot more time reading. Really I ought to be writing more, but reading is so much easier, especially as a work-goof-off activity.
Steven Till says
First off, that goal was amazing! Talk about some high drama. We had several other chances throughout that we missed on (or the refs took away from us), and I was beginning to wonder if we would be sent home early yet again. Incredible that we ended up winning the group. Now we have to payback Ghana for sending us home early in 2006.
On to the question. I spend about an equal amount of time doing both reading and writing, but personally, I feel my writing is more important than the time I spend reading. I'll often feel like I should be writing when I'm sitting around reading.
Reading. I suppose that is why I'm not finished writing yet.
Watery Tart says
Reading tips the scales, but barely, and it's only because I read on my commute, which between the two directions, adds to more than the 90 minutes I have to write each day.
If I didn't have to have a day job, writing would win.
Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist! says
when i suffer writers block, i read and read and read. when im having a creative spurt, i write and write…
I voted that I spend more time reading, even aside from studying literature in a school setting. When I'm struggling to write, nothing inspires me more than a trip to Google. I might find a picture that sparks thought, a current event that frustrates me into action, or a fact that just makes me laugh. Good research actually gets me writing better, even if I'm working on a piece of fantasy.
Also, I find it hard to believe that anyone could become a good writer without being a good reader. We learn so much from the books we read, consciously and unconciously. Styles, structures, tones, plot devices– I learned most of them from reading and then refined them through workshops, classes, and practice.
Lastly, though, I would say one usually takes the backseat to the other. Other than perhaps small visits to the web or books for research purposes, I can rarely manage the task of reading books and writing simultaneously (which is probably just a personal quirk. Many people are good multitaskers). I get in the reading zone or the writing zone, and I stay stuck there until the other one calls me back.
I love to read. Reading is important. I've read books since I was very small. That's what put me in a positon to write. But, since I've started my book,I have trouble concentrating on the text of another book. Magazine articles I can zip through, but sitting down with a book doesn't come easy and that greatly disburbs me. Maybe it's my age,or poor eyesight, or just the fact that I want my book finished so others can read it.
Claire Dawn says
I said reading on the poll, but it depends. My writing stays pretty constant. My reading has spurts where I devour 3 books a week. Books are way more portable, since I write on a laptop.
When I'm st work, I write more. With my laptop out and typing away in a language that hardly anyone here can read, I look very productive! 🙂
merry christmas 😉
Nathan Bransford says
Ha- thanks, Nona!
Harder than it looks to decide. Reading on the I-net counts, I think. But what about writing as writing emails, blog, comments, twitter, facebook, amarketing plan, etc?
I assume we're taling about writing on the WIP? Even then, all those little jots in my notebooks count for something, don't they?
And you know, sometimes reading is a part of the writing. When I am reading SAVE THE CAT, for example, I am writing in my head the whole time.
I can't watch a movie without re-writing the plot. But I'm doing it in my head, not on paper.
Third category requested: talking about writing.
Does watching Jeopardy! count if the category is grammar?
I wanted to select both for an even-steven mix.
I selected writing because I spend a lot of dead head time (chores, driving, exercising, etc) thinking about what I want to write before I ever sit down at the keyboard. I also go on reading spurts so sometimes my reading time exceeds my writing time.
I'm working on my first book. I feel guilty reading, because I feel that if I have time to read–I have time to write.
The exception: While waiting/watching my kids play sports.
Genella deGrey says
I MAKE myself sit down and write – I TRY to read at the end of the day, but it isn't long until my eyes close on their own.
Overall, I spend more time reading. But when I need to carve out more time to write (who doesn't) I try to cut stuff like email, computer crap and TV. I also try to write when I'm out waiting for my kids at their various activities.
I read far more than I write. Reading as much as I do is good because it helps me see what works and what doesn't, especially in a historical. I like to think it will translate over to my writing, that is of course, if I keep writing and don't take these ridiculously long breaks.
Read. FAR more than I write. I like to think that I'm distilling ideas for a story that will make the world smashing drunk one day. And many of the most famous writers insist on the importance of exposure to find your truest voice.
Draven Ames says
That is a tough question. I read for 31 years before I started writing; now I can't stop writing. I guess it will be time to slow down on writing and go back to reading once I stop getting acceptance letters.
That's the plan anyway,
Reading, reading, reading. Everything I can get my hands on. . . fiction, mostly, but non-fiction works, too. Bestsellers from the NY Times booklist, lists from the local independent (and marvelous) bookstore, and whatever else I happen to stumble across. I find I can't both read & write…..I have to do one or the other. And I feel my writing is uninspired at present. So I read. Besides, in order to get into what I'm writing, I need more than the limited time I'm currently able to carve out of my day.
Joanne Sheppard says
At present, it's reading, but at other times, it's been writing. I actually realised recently that I wasn't reading enough any more to be a good writer.
Jess Anastasi says
Where was the button for 'editing'? Because thats all I seem to be doing at the moment.
I think it may be important to note that, while I vote writing without question, that's when I have a project going. But while I'm always reading, I'm not always writing.
If that makes any sense whatsoever.
I seem to be trapped in revision hell at the moment as well as moving from Anchorage, Alaska back to the coast of Louisiana.Just don't even ask why on earth would I do that because it is a long story.
B Jas says
Equal parts writing. Equal parts reading. All parts awesome.
The main reason I'm reading more is because I read everywhere. So there's more opportunity. However, I tend to write less when I've got a really good book at my side. Then, when it's over and I'm bookless again, I usually write a lot. (Sometimes I write a lot when I'm reading an especially good and inspirational book, too.)
hehe…I was just commenting to a friend about how, aside from the Harry Potter series, I haven't read a book in almost twenty years (since I was about 15 years old).
However, prior to that, I read a lot and I can recall almost every nuance of Stephen King or S.E. Hinton or William Golding. The reason I stopped reading? Well, that's sort of where the story I'm writing comes in.
And, actually, saying I don't read is a bit misleading…I just haven't really read any full-scale books in that time. I'll still reference Mark Twain, Harper Lee, or even Shakespeare to analyze literary [i]techniques[/i], I just don't really have the patience to sit through the whole tale.
Note: I mistyped the HTML tags in my comment above (damn you, forum brackets!)
Being unable to edit such minor flubs, I may need to start using the Preview button before posting.
Anyhow, instead of deleting and resubmitting the whole thing, I'll just ask you to imagine the letters between the [i]…[/i] brackets are all slanted and emphasized and such.
That is, if anyone is even reading the comments on this post any more.
I wish I could balance the two, but I always seems to end up reading more than writing.
I was kind of embarrassed to admit that I write more than I read (at least when it comes to fiction). But I see that a number of posts are saying just that, and now I feel worse. Product is product, and there's only so much time in the day, but maybe the lack of reading is making our writing less rich and varied.
The other thing I thought about while writing this response is that even when I am reading, the quality of my reading time has suffered. I'm distracted. I'm reading more short stories. And sometimes, I just want to read non-fiction. I don't want to invest myself in a novel because I don't think I'll be able to give it my attention–I'd be like a bad husband who never listens to his wife. I have no idea why this is. Maybe the internet is changing our (my) brains–present blog excepted, of course.
I spend mostly all day writing, either scribbling notes, from an observation,an olofactory rush from a cookout triggers a memory, one of my characters could use, or even the 6 pages I startes wring 3 days ago on my blog,(https://fishheadfishhead.blogspot.com) I am determined these 4 Unsolicited manuscripts out of my head …….and onto an agents' desk by next year and in the bookstores by next December 2011. I have been smart enough to synop the books and write the first 3 and the last chapters, so reading other peoples work is mainly literary criticm mags or book reviews as it widens my vocabulary and writing stles mix in for more universal feel.
Best to you, Nathan!
Writing. I read every once in a while for pleasure. If I read more than I write, my writing voice will sound like another author.
I'm surprised that a number of people are expressing something akin to guilt for spending time reading.
If you don't read, you've no business writing.
Nicole Marie Schreiber says
For me, it really depends on the day. I try to fit in my writing wherever I can between a toddler and preschooler schedule, but I could NEVER be without my reading.