Writers need to read, but how do we find time to read? This is a constant struggle. For me, it often comes down to deciding between watching TV and reading. Sometimes TV wins and other times reading wins. Often this hinges on how good the book is and how badly I want to watch a particular show.
To find time to read, I strive to keep my TV watch list short and my book list interesting. I also give myself the freedom to stop reading a book that I don’t like or that bores me. If I didn’t do that, the TV would always win.
The point is, we all have some degree of discretionary time, be it TV, movies, going out, leisure activities, or even a nap. We can choose to do those or to read. For me, I’ve cut back on TV to read more—and I’m glad I did.
However, some writers, including me, feel that watching TV and especially movies help them learn about plot, character development, and good (or bad) storytelling.
The bottom line is that if we’re serious about writing and want to become a better writer, we need to also read. We need to find time to read. When we do so, we will better inform our writing.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.