First off, I have to say that I’m a little disappointed in myself for not posting at the end of June, as promised. But life kept moving at a breakneck speed and I’m only now putting my tail in my chair, pulling it up to my desk, and forcing my fingers to hover over the keyboard. When all is said and done, the effort is worth it. Writing sure feels good.
But I can’t say that finding a routine again is easy. My last post mentioned ways of getting back in the saddle, but by far the one that is most helpful is so simple it has become a slogan: Just do it. The act of typing something – anything – is chipping away at the barnacles grown over the last few weeks and cranking out the words is slowly becoming easier. Today I’m not expecting any earth-shattering musings or bits of wisdom, but I am writing. And that alone is worth the effort to overcome inertia.
Since May I have been traveling or hosting visitors. I loved every minute spent with the people who mean the world to me. But where was my writing during this time? In spite of a few half-hearted attempts to find my muse, it was nowhere to be found. But I didn’t stress about it. I was glad I gave myself permission to take a break and enjoy my family. In setting my priorities, I saved myself frustration at not moving forward.
However, the vacation schedule did give me some glorious reading time to catch up on a few cozies waiting for my attention. In later posts I’ll review some of them, but for now let’s just say that having reading time kept me centered.
If you read anything (books, blogs, articles, etc.) on how to write, one of the main points is that in order to be a writer, you must be a reader. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it hard to fit in all the reading I want to do. Every day there are so many things (and people) demanding my attention that reading is often relegated to right before bed and, I hate to admit it, nodding off in the middle of a paragraph happens far too often.
And then I’d feel guilty for not reading enough.
This time, however, I set the goal of having something to read with me wherever I went. Suddenly the Nook app that I have had on my phone for years and only occasionally used became a lifesaver. Having the ability to easily connect with a book whenever I had a few spare minutes made reading anywhere incredibly easy. My husband teased me more than once about looking like a teenager with my eyes glued to my phone. Undaunted, I kept my resolution that – as long as I didn’t ignore the people with me- I was going to read. Waiting in a slow-moving line? Bored with the commercials before the movie previews? No worries. I have an app for that. Following the clues in my latest cozy read has never been easier.
For some people, this seems like a no-brainer. Of course, you can read anywhere. I do it all the time.
For me, being able to read anywhere at any time has been something I never tried. I’m one of those people who think that there’s no point in cracking open a book if I don’t have a good chunk of time to give reading my full attention. Some days I could read for hours, snuggled into the crook of my favorite chair. Then there were the days I wouldn’t read anything because I didn’t have the time. I was approaching reading with an all-or-nothing attitude and, more often than not, I didn’t pick up a book for days.
This is where changing my attitude made all the difference. Embracing the smaller chunks of time throughout the day and having a whole library of books at my fingertips has made me an on-the-go reader. It wasn’t that I didn’t have a capability before. As I said, I had that Nook app on my phone for years. The change came when I simply started looking at my resources in a different way.
I soon learned that a few minutes lost in a book is better than waiting for the perfect time to read – because on some days there is no perfect time.