Balancing “reader” and “writer" With CA Szarek

Saturday, July 11, 2015

I have always been a reader AND a writer. I started writing when I was about 8, but I didn’t finish a book until I was 17.

I tend to “binge” anything I like to do. So I will go through long periods of JUST writing, where I don’t even think about any books but my own.

Or get frustrated with myself because I “missed out” reading a new release from one of my fave authors because I just had to finish the book I was writing. (Which in most cases, I really DID have to finish writing that book.)

Reading has always been the same for me. When I am having a streak, I can read 4-5 books a week. If I like an author, I often get all their books and read them back to back. I need to catch up. Of course, that means I usually have a huge book hangover, especially if I’m reading series. Because there’s no helping “the wait” for the next book in the series.
It’s harder for me to read AND write at the same time, but I find it makes me happier when I do. When I do one and not the other, I MISS the other. And I find when I don’t write it’s worse than when I don’t read. I get grumpy.

So what works best for me is writing daily, then making myself see the reading as a “reward” for the work I got done. Sometimes it works fabulously.

Other times I just want to watch TV in my downtime, but that’s a whole ‘nother post. (I watch way too much TV! Also a bingeing problem.)

I feel like writers SHOULD read. I don’t know about other writers, but if I do nothing BUT write, I get too much up in my own head, if that makes sense. It just wraps me up and gives me trouble spots in my stories.

Besides, it’s good to see what else is out there, what other awesomely creative people are doing. I love it! And I love to explore different genres.

Some authors will tell you not to read the genre you write, but I personally will read anything as long as it’s a good story. I find that reading my own genres doesn’t hurt my writing, nor does it make me worry that my own stuff isn’t “good enough.” It just makes even more in awe that my books are in the same category of authors I love to read, genres I love to read.

Historicals (especially Scottish Highlanders) are one of my fave things to read. And I love to read paranormal, and of course a fab romantic suspense, almost as much as I like to write it.

Balance is key for me in anything I do. Blame it on being a Libra, I dunno. Just seems when I have balance I function better, especially with reading and writing.