As a writer, one of the most important things is of course to write. But, up there in equal first is making the time to read. All good authors say the best way to improve your writing is to read. Not only does it help you recognise poor writing from brilliant writing, but it helps to improve your vocabularly, understand narrative arcs, character development and plot points. It also helps you to grasp good dialogue and the art of show don’t tell. And above all, it inspires you to write more.
Even if you’re not a writer, reading is great way to alieviate stress, calm your senses and just relax for the pure enjoyment of it.
So here’s how to make time to read each and every day.
Read before you go to sleep
We all know, to get a better night’s sleep we should be limiting screen time before bed. And the best way to wind your brain down and prepare it for sleep is to read a book. Settle down with low lighting and snuggle down under the doona with a good book. Even if it’s just for ten or twenty minutes, you will not only have a better night’s sleep, but you’ll churn through your to-read list in no time.
Make the most of moments
I’m a busy person, and I like to be busy. But, I also make sure I take time to just be during the day. In doing so, I’ve found so many pockets of time to read a few pages of my current read. Lunchtime reading has become the norm for me. Rather than grab something to eat and continue working through the day, I now make time to sit. Even if it’s only for 10 minutes, I sit down and read while I eat. When cooking dinner, you’ll often find me stirring the pot with a book in hand (although with young kids this can be tricky!) The other time I’ve been making the most of is when the kids are at after school activities. Usually, I make the most of that time to run errands or catch up on house work. But, every now and then I’ll just chill in the car with my book.
Change your night routine
It’s our culture to curl up on the couch in front of the TV after a long day. But why not curl up on the couch with a book instead? Maybe not every night, but if you can change your routine a couple of nights a week, you’ll find you’ll power through your reading list.
Read good books
The best way to want to read, is to read a book you can’t put down. Recently, I posed a question on my Facebook page; Would you persist with a book you weren’t totally into in the hope it gets better? Or would you ditch it and move onto something else? The overwhelming response was: “Life’s too short for bad books!” If you’re reading a mediocre book, you won’t be enthused enough to pick it up. But, if you’re reading a real page-turner you’ll find yourself wanting to pick up that book in every spare moment you get!
Take your book with you
The evolution of e-readers and smart devices has made it easier to take your reading material with you everywhere you go. Even if you’re old-school like me, make sure you always have your book in your bag as you never know when you’ll have a few moments to read a page or two.
How do you make time to fit reading into your day?