Monday, February 22, 2016

Read Less, Write More


I finally took the plunge and lowered my Goodreads reading challenge goal to 150 books. (It was originally 200 books.) I do read a lot and I do read quite fast, and I also have the tendency to spend weekends binge reading (literally reading one book after another after another after another, but that’s a story for another day). So, it’s not the number of books that was the issue. It was the fact that I needed to carve out more time in my life for something else.

I’d like to think I live a fairly well-balanced life. I read. I write. I watch TV. I go to work. I hang out with Macky. I hang out with friends. I take advantage of the wonderful place I live in and do fun things. But upon reflection, I realized there was one area of my life that I wasn’t prioritizing properly and I should have been: my writing.

I’ve been writing (both blog posts and stories) for years now (roughly since the time I was eleven, based on my guesstimate). While I’ve had my ups and downs with writing (again, a story for another day), I do love it. I aspire to hone my own skills, and to maybe, one day, someday, have other people read my stories (and hopefully enjoy them). But writing, particularly fiction, is an ability that I often take for granted, shoving it into the nooks and crannies of my day: quiet moments at the office, right before I sleep, on my subway commute. I give it mere minutes instead of devoting more time to it – and therein lies the problem, at least in my humble opinion. Instead of continuing to strive to improve the quality of my writing, and to exercise the skill consistently, I’ve been making it one of those “little habits” I can choose to stretch when I have time. 

Well, personally, I’ve had enough of that.

I decided that it was important, nay, that it was necessary that I actually take steps to make sure that writing is integrated into my lifestyle the way that blogging is. The first step is to actually carve out time in my days to dedicate solely to writing (fiction) and nothing else. In order to do that, I actually had to take a look at what I spent most of my time on – only to realize that reading is the one predominant activity I could afford to take time from. So, I’ll be shaving an hour or two off of my reading time each day (It’s actually a lot, since I read anywhere from 3-4 hours each day on weekdays, and more on the weekends) and giving it over to my writing instead.

All this to say, I’m reading less so I can be writing more.

In case you were wondering, here, specifically, are my goals for Q1 of 2016:
  • Finish the first draft of Swan Story. (Yep, it’s still not done. I’m aiming to finish it this month!)
  • Revise the first draft of Swan Story. (There’s a lot of work to be done. I already have a major character change to implement, and I’m not even finished.)

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