Mar 10, 2011

How Writers Read

As you may have noticed from my last post, I have a lot of books on the craft of writing. I have these books on my shelf, in audio format and on my Kindle. So why aren't I an expert already?

I find my reading habits random and unfocused. I read a chapter or two from one book and hop over to another. By the time I return to read new sections of a guide, I've forgotten the earlier parts. I'm making a bit of a resolution to stick with a book until I've finished it and only then move onto another.

Why? I suspect my writing habits reflect my reading patterns. I previously had several notebooks on the go at any one time, one for each WIP and one for new ideas. I dropped that system for one notebook at a time. My patterns have left me with several unfinished WIPs. Recently I banned myself from any new writing until I finished Dog Show Detective. That worked well for me and it is not only done, but has been sent out.

Now it's time for me to work down the list. Being eclectic may have fed my creative side of the brain, but forcing myself to be more organised with the left side of my brain is the only way I'll actually get stuff finished. Now I just have to decide which WIP to work on next.

How about you? Do your creative patterns sometimes interfere with your productiveness?


  1. I find this to be so true! It's hard for a fiction reader/writer to really get into nonfiction. Even if the nonfiction helps me perfect my craft, I hop around quite a bit because I feel my attention lagging.

  2. I'm like you. I'm forcing myself to focus on projects already started rather than start new ones. It's so difficult as a writer.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Good to see it's not just me and my scatterbrain ;-J
    I try to focus, but I get distracted by all the pretty plot ideas...

  5. The thing i find most frustrating is when I catch myself being unfoscused and all over the place, I realise I have to concentrate on one thing and get it done, and yet I just can't get going until I've checked my email and reorganised my writing area and left a comment on a blog (hello!). The gap between knowing what to do, and doing it, just seems to get wider. Sigh.

  6. I'm like that with reading, but thankfully not with writing! I do have various projects on the go, but not more than one TYPE of project. Eg. one fiction ms and one poetry ms. They're easy to alternate between because I think I use different parts of my brain!

  7. I'm like you as well and getting organized has become the elusive prize. My brain just keeps finding ways to clutter the focus :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  8. I think you are an expert writer. Many of us haven't made the time or had the courage to send something in. I've never even finished anything. Don't know if it's fear of failure or success, but something interferes with my productivity.

    I find your ananlysis between reading and writing interesting. I must admit, I'm as scattered with my reading as I am with my writing. I really need to make some changes.

  9. I find myself in the same predicament as far as reading goes.

    I wish you the best of luck with Dog Show Detective because it's a book I would love to read and it's a perfect book for my mom to read too! She is a huge doggy lover and a voracious reader.