What happens when a writer prefers reading to writing?

It’s the first Wednesday of March!

Time to blog hop with The Insecure Writer’s Support Group



What happens when a writer prefers reading to writing?

I’m a writer, but before being a writer, I was a reader.

I’m still a reader. In fact, I think I’ll always prefer reading to writing.

I blame my kindle app, which I have downloaded onto my three devices. I always carry all my books with me. I’ve even read entire books on my smart phone, if no other device was available to me at the time.

I prefer the app to the Kindle device because I don’t like the pixellated page turns. The app on my devices is great, the page turns smoothly, and I can choose font size, brightness, and background colour. I love sepia, it’s so kind to my eyes. I can go backwards or forwards easily, look up or highlight words, and even make comments, quickly and easily.

It is undoubtedly my most valuable possession, although the app itself is free, and the books are very cheap and plentiful. I have always loved reading, and now it’s just so easy, quick, and cheap. I can buy any book with a click and start reading comfortably wherever I am immediately. It’s heaven!

When people tell me they haven’t got a Kindle, the app, or that they don’t read ebooks, I feel so sorry for them. They’re missing out on so much pleasure! Most of the self-published or Indie books I’ve read have been just as good as books published by publishing houses. I have come across a few I didn’t enjoy, or were in need of serious editing, but they are a very small percentage.

There are few surprises. I read the burb, some comments, and then ‘Look Inside’ and that’s enough for me to know whether I’ll like it or not. I’ve been misled only very rarely. Basically, I know what I’m buying. It’s what I like to read, and want to read, and it usually costs between nothing and the price of a tall latte, for hours of pleasure!

I travel in time and space, see places, meet people, and experience emotions beyond my real life, almost every day.

Just in case you were wondering, I also read and carry paperbacks, too, especially if I’m going away for the weekend for example, just in case I might need the feel of paper… but I read 90% on my kindle, and that’s not going to change soon.

My only complaint is that there aren’t enough minutes in the day to read all the books I have on my kindle! I’m convinced reading helps me be a better writer and a happier person, but all that glitters is not gold…

To answer my initial question: What happens when a writer prefers reading to writing?

  1. Reading distracts me from my writing. Sounds like a bad thing, but sometimes I need to set my writing aside, breathe, and read something different. I’m also convinced every book I read teaches me something about the craft.
  2. Reading also humbles me. There are so many great books out there to read, why would anyone want to read mine? I’m just a drop in the ocean.

Oh dear 😦 I’ve just finished a great book. I’m happy :), but now I feel so insecure:(  

Check out what other writers have to say today!

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: First Wednesday of the Month Blog Hop


Why is writing a second novel more challenging than a first novel?

I have to begin by reminding myself of the things I’ve learned about writing a first novel and self-publishing… the hard way

When I started writing my first novel and in July 2013, I never imagined there would be so much more than writing involved in being a published writer.

I imagined I’d be writing most of the time, and alone all of the time.

Wrong on both counts!

I was misled, because writing on my own was actually what I had been doing for four months, while I wrote my first draft (I didn’t really know exactly what a first draft was back then!).

When I finished (or rather thought I’d finished) my novel in October, 2013, I didn’t really know what to do with it, at all, so I searched on the  Internet.

I found advice on other blogs and on specific Goodreads groups, which I had joined earlier in the year.

I gradually ‘lurked’ less and became more interactive by starting my own blog. I already had a personal Facebook account, so I set up a professional profile. I had a Twitter account, which I had been neglecting, taking it up again with renewed enthusiasm!

So I met and started networking with other writers.

A couple of months later, by January 2014, I had learnt that I needed, a cover designer, beta readers, an editor, and a proof reader, at the very least, as well as advice and support from other writers.

I caught on quickly, I’m a very sociable person in real life, so it wasn’t difficult for me to make friends virtually.

Writing is definitely not a solitary endeavour.

I’ve found that I need my writer friends for moral and practical support, for advice, for their knowledge, enthusiasm, criticism, and to feel part of a group and profession.

This is naturally reciprocal, or it will fizzle out. Friendship, whether ‘real’ or ‘virtual’ cannot be a one-way street. I also need and want to give back as much as I can.

I believe that the wonderful people I’ve met, and the literally hundreds of novels I’ve read over the last two years, have made this unexpectedly tough journey as rewarding as producing my novel.

Of course all this interaction slowed everything down, and I didn’t actually publish All Hallows at Eyre Hall until May 2014.

I thought that was it. I’d published and done the social network thing, so now I could go back to my corner and continue with my second novel.

Wrong again.

I realised I still need to market my novel, and keep up with Goodreads, facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, my blog, and the blogs I follow.

I also need to read. In fact I spend much more time reading than writing. Firstly because I need to read what my writer friends are writing; secondly, I need to know what readers are reading; thirdly I need to keep learning my craft; and finally I love reading even more than writing.

No wonder writing the second novel is more difficult than writing the first one!

Writing novels is not what writers do most of the time, and writing is definitely not a solitary endeavour.

I have to keep up with my social media, keep promoting my first book, carry on with my ‘real’ life as a teacher, mother, and grandmother, read, and write my second novel.

There’s another drawback. The second (and subsequent books) make you into a ‘real author’. Can you do it again? Can you do better this time?

Readers, writers, and the public at large now expect much more from you. You’re no longer a ‘debut author’: You’re an author and you’re expected to progress in your career.

It’s a lot of work and a lot of pressure…

Right now I’m about half way through my second book…. And I’ve no idea if I’ll ever finish it…. If I’m good enough to do it twice…. If it’s worth it….

Well, there it is. I got it off my chest. I’ve expressed all my doubts and fears, for the moment! More ranting next month! Or perhaps I’ll have something more positive to say… lots of words can be written in thirty days, can’t they?

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If anyone else would like to take part in this monthly Insecure Writer’s Support Group Blog hop, details below:

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Let’s rock the neurotic  writing world!

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