For the past three months I have been saying to myself - 'You know what Laura, you should read more.'
Have I? No.
Before I started writing I used to read all the time, and I read widely. Chick lit, autobiography, memoir, crime, comedy etc...
But now it seems I don't have time to read at all.
As a writer this is extremely bad of me. The whole world seems to say - 'you can't write if you don't read.' But as a writer how can you possibly have time to read other people's work, even when you know you should? And as any writer will usually tell you, time is precious. It's very precious when all you want to do is write your next book, market and promote your current one and live your own life as well.
Sitting in front of a computer all day is very tiring on the eyes. So when I come to take a break the last thing I want to do is strain my eyes some more and force my brain to engage on something else. Most of the time I'm just screaming, 'Let me watch some mindless TV and go to sleep!'
So when I do force myself to read, my inner editor comes out in full force and I end up not concentrating on the actual story but asking myself: why didn't the author choose that word instead of this?
I guess I am also scared to read a book similar to mine in case I subconsciously copy sentences. Sometimes a thought just pops into my head and I think - Aha! That sounds good but where I have I heard it before? Was it something my neighbour said or have I actually read it somewhere else? So consequently I am paranoid for the rest of the day.
And then there's the problem of having your own life as well. People often say, and I think this myself, that to write about anything you first must go out there and experience it yourself. Ideas, thoughts and creations are not going to come if all you do all day is sit down and sleep. So people call me up and say, 'Hey, do ya fancy a coffee?' I say yes, because really I am quite a sociable person at heart, despite spending most days feeling irascible.
So I am sitting with a friend, having coffee and the world is great apart from one tiny thing - I should be at home writing, or even better reading!
Please tell me I am not the only writer who occasionally feels like this. How do you get the balance right between writing, marketing and reading?