Tuesday, 23 June 2015

On being a reader and a writer

I don't know whether any of you have experienced this, but being both an avid reader and writer is really hard. Not because we find either of these activities boring, because we don't - in fact if we had an infinite amount of time in the world we would spend every single second doing a mixture of these two things.

The problem is something more, and I compare it to 'the red wire and the blue wire' problem that appears in many cliche movies. 

Reading and writing both take an enormous amount of time to accomplish as a daily, weekly, or monthly task. They require all of your mental and emotional effort to fully immerse yourself in them. So this raises the problem of which one to prioritise. It might be easy for some people; sure! I'll focus on finishing this book this week and then next week I'll schedule in some time for writing.

Oh no. It doesn't work like that for people who love reading and writing in equal measure. And I've found that it is an extra hard dilemma when you own a book blog that requires constant book reviews, which means you have to read at least one new book a week or have a lot of notes on recent reads stocked up, whilst at the same time you want to research soon-to-be releases and do some of your own writing to kickstart your career as a novelist. This is a huge problem for many people in the book blogging community because the majority of bloggers blog because it gives them valuable insight into the publishing world whilst it allows them to make contacts with publishers and editors and other people who work in the book business. Mostly because its fun, but these are some more advantages of working so hard on blogs.

So, you have a decision between cutting the red wire or the blue wire. Reading or writing. Cutting one wire will have consequences, much like cutting off either reading or writing would have different consequences depending on which one you choose to abandon for a hefty amount of time. It could either be the best decision or the worst decision you've ever made. Everything could explode around you, taking you with the flames, or it could stop the ticking time-bomb of doom that is threatening to destroy you. 

Personally, I don't want to abandon either, which really sucks because I either end up completing books later or I don't write anything at all. Usually what happens is that I decide on reading, which has had somewhat a negative consequence on my writing career. I will have owned this blog three years tomorrow and I put off writing for reading, and look at me. A book blogger who has not yet written a novel. Just goes to show that you can't do two things at once!

Which do you prioritise: reading or writing? Or if you manage to do them both each day, how do you do it? I would love to hear your thoughts on whether this is a genuine problem for you as well!

Quick note: it is my blog's third birthday tomorrow so I will plan something good for it! 

Have a wonderful day/night wherever you are :)


  1. You've. Read. My. Mind. And articulated my dilemma so eloquently!
    Add to that feelings of depression or just some generic difficulties, and it's so much easier to turn to reading rather than writing. Maybe we should team up to give each other a motivating pep talk (aka a kick up the backside!).

    1. Yes haha! Its always reading in the end. And we should definitely team up, I need as many motivating speeches as I can get! :)

  2. I had the opportunity to visit an army base in Canada. I was invited to speak to the Ammunition Technician Training School. If you've seen the film, The Hurt Locker, you will know what these people are trained to do. My being invited had to do with the subject of my first book, but that is another matter. At the end of the seminar, naturally there were questions for me. After they had exhausted their questions, I had one for them. I asked, "This has been bothering me for years—do you cut the red wire or the blue wire?" They laughed. Then one stood up and said, "It is a carefully guarded secret." Then, he leaned over and whispered it into my ear. Of course, it all made perfect sense. The point is, you leave both wires alone. Just like you must both read and write. Don't sacrifice one for the other.


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