PDA

View Full Version : How much time do you spend writing compared to reading?



Matt T.
08-13-2016, 12:18 AM
We've probably all heard the wisdom that writers need to read if they're going to be any good. Although I sometimes wish I was writing when I'm reading, I've found reading extensively inside my own genre to be one of the single most helpful things I've done as a writer (although reading outside one's own genre is very helpful as well).

I was thinking today about how we balance our reading/writing time. On average, how much time do you spend reading and writing each day? Do you write more than you read, or the opposite?

I tend to write more than I read. On busy days, I might get an hour for reading and one or two hours for writing. On lazy weekend days, I can spend 2-3 hours reading and double that in writing, although I tend to get burned out on writing eventually, and then I might return to reading.

Carrie in PA
08-13-2016, 04:17 AM
Right now, I am on a writing bender. I've been writing/editing daily, and only catching a few snippits of reading time here and there (usually right before bed or during potty breaks {go ahead, judge me LOL}) Then, the tides will turn and I'll go on a reading kick, where I'll read 10 books in a row and do very little writing. I'd guess it eventually balances out pretty well, although it's never balanced at any given time.

WeaselFire
08-13-2016, 04:18 AM
Depends on the week. :)

I take time off from writing to do something else, and reading is often one of those things. That week might be 10% writing and 90% other stuff, maybe 20-30% writing.

Other times I'm pumping out writing, either hitting a deadline, revising something, just on a roll or whatever. That might be 90% writing, 10% other stuff and I might never read.

Overall, it might be 50/50. It might not. I don't really keep track. Plus, since I write non-fiction as well as fiction, I may be reading for reference for what I'm writing. Not sure I can count that as reading, it's more working.

I know, it doesn't help. None of our responses may ever help. It may be radically different from your pattern, or identical. What are you looking to answer for yourself?

Jeff

Matt T.
08-13-2016, 04:34 AM
What are you looking to answer for yourself?

It's mostly curiosity, although I've been considering adding a bit more reading to the mix for myself and seeing how that impacts the quality of my writing. I'm interested to see how other people divvy up their time between reading and writing and how that works for them.

WeaselFire
08-13-2016, 04:59 AM
Use the Bill Gates method. For two weeks every year, he goes away to where he can't be contacted. He takes a set of books he wants to read, physical books, not ebooks, and spends the time reading and thinking. Says he comes away refreshed and energized for future projects.

Of course, he can afford to go anywhere in the world and have every need catered to. I have trouble getting my wife to make me lunch when I do this. :)

Jeff

Keyboard Cowboy
08-13-2016, 05:16 AM
For me I would say it's about 50/50. I love to do both. But when I am struggling to write and am in need of some inspiration, I will sometimes just go ahead and read for a while. I write slowly and sometimes it comes easily, other times not so easily. Writing I think can be hard for all of us. It can get lonely and there aren't always rewards for the effort put in. I guess every once in a while I just need to remind myself what I'm fighting for, and I'll read something I know is so good that it will blow me away. Gives me something to shoot for and keeps me motivated.

Aimless Lady
08-13-2016, 07:52 AM
Right now, I am on a writing bender. I've been writing/editing daily, and only catching a few snippits of reading time here and there (usually right before bed or during potty breaks {go ahead, judge me LOL}) Then, the tides will turn and I'll go on a reading kick, where I'll read 10 books in a row and do very little writing. I'd guess it eventually balances out pretty well, although it's never balanced at any given time.

This. I'm the same way. I always figure out a way to read, even if means the bathroom LOL. Right now I'm on a reading bender. I'm still writing, but devouring books. I steered away from romance for a long time, even fiction, but I've rediscovered my fave genre again. There is something about reading that inspires me.

TellMeAStory
08-13-2016, 07:52 PM
Most of my life I was a voracious reader.

Now that I'm a voracious writer, I've had to join a book club to force myself to read. Worse yet, my internal editor is so mean I sometimes have to read with pencil in hand so I can mark corrections.

Sick, huh.

Silva
08-13-2016, 11:18 PM
I'd have to keep a timesheet to know for sure. :tongue

Reading does help my writing, though, and I don't limit myself to the genre I'm writing in. Reading other people's creative works just inspires my own creativity. When my creative energy is lagging, I can just go read a book for a pick-me-up.

JenniferLee
08-14-2016, 12:02 AM
Depends on how much I like a book (whether writing or reading), but I think I get a few hours of each a day.

satisverborum2003
08-14-2016, 01:53 AM
I used to read a lot. However, I do work full time so I have learnt to prioritise the writing. Hence, I probably write more than I read. Does non- fiction count? I read quite a lot of newspaper and general interests articles.

EMaree
08-14-2016, 02:49 AM
I listen to audiobooks, so as long as I'm doing housework/having regular showers/driving, I can keep regular reading time as part of my day without cutting into my writing time too badly. I'm also a night owl writer, so during weekends I spend the mornings and afternoons reading physical books or e-books.

I use to go in cycles like others have mentioned: I'd stop reading when I was heavily into the flow of writing, and read when I stuck with writers block. These days I only stop reading if I'm very sick or in a bad mental state and all the usual day-to-day stuff has fallen by the wayside.

lauralam
08-14-2016, 02:15 PM
I'm like Emma. Audiobooks mean I read a book or two a month while walking around town or going to the gym or cleaning. I also read for an hour before bed, and sometimes take little reading breaks between writing sprints. I probably write a bit more, but not by much.

Jamesaritchie
08-15-2016, 09:03 PM
As close to fifty fifty as possible. But unlike many, I don't consider audiobooks reading. Even someone who is completely illiterate can still listen to an audiobook. Reading, as opposed to listening, has serious meaning.

blacbird
08-20-2016, 07:59 AM
My writing is moribund, so it's mostly reading anymore.

caw

nossmf
08-23-2016, 05:37 AM
When I got laid off, I thought I would be able to spend at least a couple hours on each activity per day. But the reality is I've spent maybe a combined total of one hour reading in the past three weeks, and zero actual writing. Though considering how many hours I've spent here in AW READING about WRITING, maybe I should get a little credit for each, eh?

But the amount of housework, shuffling kids off to school then helping with homework upon return home, and *cough* watching movies I haven't seen in years *cough* has really eaten into any available book-time. I'm ashamed to admit how badly my self-discipline has fallen by the wayside after I no longer had a job to go to.

Little Anonymous Me
08-24-2016, 03:49 AM
Right now, the scale is very much tipped towards reading due to time and energy constraints (two jobs and utter exhaustion), but it's usually about twice as much writing as reading.

ChipsAhoyMcCoy
08-24-2016, 08:04 AM
I read far more than I write - probably five or six times as much. I have a lot of reading for classes (in genres I'd usually read anyway, which is why I count it), so heap on some pleasure reading, and I end up with a lot to read and little time left to write. In the summer, though, it's probably closer to 50/50. I prefer the daily grind of the school year though. I get in less work on my novel, but that's because I'm honing my writing skills while working on papers and catching up on class readings.

cmi0616
08-24-2016, 06:53 PM
I seem to spend considerably less time writing than reading, but I find I can be plenty productive nonetheless. I'll spend 2-3 hours a day reading, and a minimum of 1 hour a day writing. This can change when the "writing" in question consists of revising finished drafts, though.

A.E.Fisher
08-24-2016, 09:54 PM
This comes down to how blocked my writing is! Some days I sit down and write for hours, and sometimes I don't touch the MS for weeks. Usually if I'm not writing, I'm reading. I don't stick just to my genre (YA SFF), but I find myself sticking mostly within the YA section as a whole.

So, in summary, I have no idea what the split is :Shrug:

Locke581
09-16-2016, 10:33 PM
I do almost all of my writing during the summers. Reading, editing, and plotting the next novel occupy the rest of the year.

WeaselFire
09-17-2016, 02:34 AM
On average, how much time do you spend reading and writing each day?

Never timed it, never thought about it and never worried one way or the other.

Jeff

grandma2isaac
09-17-2016, 02:47 AM
I spend WAY more time reading than writing, but barely sleep, so spend a lot of time telling myself tales of childishness, romance, or adventure.