Ah, the wonderful world of reading. I do not know a writer who does not love to read. I’m staring at four piles of abandoned books right now that I must find something to do with. Yes, four piles. Long before I called myself a writer, I was a reader.
I’ve been actively writing, editing, and polishing for about a year now. I take breaks for sanity’s sake after I finish a draft of some story. I play games for a bit and let myself relax. After about two days, I start getting bored. I want to read.
What I’ve been doing is picking up the next story in the series and reading that, in order to begin the editing process. This helps me in my craft, but after a while, I do get bored reading things I’ve written. I can forget what a character said and exactly how they got out of such a place, but it’s hard to be truly surprised when you’re reading a work that you have written yourself.
After finishing the edit of my Monster Book (what would you call 85 chapters?), I decided to give myself a well-earned break. I did not start on the next book, but instead was determined to relax. That didn’t last long. I looked back over my first story. Then I started having computer issues, forcing me to take a step back from everything.
Finally, I picked up a book that I had purchased two months before and never read. Yes, two months had passed and I hadn’t bothered to read the first page. I was planning to do so once I got a break from writing. Anyway, it took a bit to get into this particular story, but I read it within four days. I immediately picked up another book of mine that I had read before and began it again.
I’ve read three different stories I’ve penned during my break, not for editing purposes, but just to enjoy as a reader. These particular documents have not been read in a while, so the distance helped me enjoy it.
I’m enjoying my reading break. When I get back to editing, I know this break will have done me good. I can look over things with fresh eyes.
Writers, don’t forget in your struggles that one day someone will turn to your book for enjoyment. Pick up a book and be a reader for a bit. Once you’re done, return to your keyboard. Try to write a better one, if you can.