How to · Real Life Vs. Writing Life · Writing

Reading Habits

Really, I would love some input on this. I am very curious to know about other writers’ reading and writing practices.

I still have the long hours at the day job, so I juggle everything around that. My wife is yet to run off with the children, so I juggle them as well.

Additionally I have all the usual distractions/interferences; homeownership and maintenance, yard-work, the list goes on. In short I have the same issues as many of you.

I wake up, or try to, ridiculously early, long before I even have to think about getting ready for work. I let the dogs out, make coffee, and work on whatever phase of my current project I happen to be on. Some mornings, the work may only consist of world building, or something, without a lot of actual writing taking place.

I go to work, take care of whatever business is pressing, then I am able to listen to audiobooks all the live long day. has been a great resource, but I buy what I have to from Amazon. Work ends and I go home, still listening to whatever audiobook is current.

After I get in the door, settle in, attend to dinner, and catch up on current family events, what happens with my reading/writing schedule varies.

Scenario 1:

I was able to get a lot done in the morning, so I read as much as I can before calling it a night.

Scenario 2:

I failed to do anything in the morning, so I work on my current project until bed.

What am I reading?

During the day, my audiobooks are basically whatever is available. I download ten or so every weekend. Sometimes the book is good, but the narration is abysmal.

At home I rotate between a fiction, usually something involving dead people, demons, vampires, hounds of hell, crime and murder mysteries, and books on writing, known as craft books.

I read one fiction, one craft, back and forth for a long time now. I do find myself reading certain craft books repeatedly. Notably Jack Bickham and John Truby. I think current craft books are mostly recycled rubbish, but not all.

What I’m saying is, just because writers digest, or whomever, is pushing some new hot craft book doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to notice.

I’ve gotten more from all the books I’ve initially overlooked in the bookstore than the ones holding a prime spot on the shelf.

I would love to hear your schedule in hopes of enhancing my own.


2 thoughts on “Reading Habits

  1. The word “reading” is a bit of a misnomer for me, since I listen and watch so much as well, and stick it in the same must-do category as reading words on a page/screen. It’s messy and all over the place. Perhaps we all need a new word for “getting words and ideas into your head”.

    But basically, I used Pocket to keep up with articles, blog posts, journalism and research for what I’m writing (it seems to suit my brain better to read that stuff offline/locally instead of being on the Web while I do it). I use podcasts to keep up with what the best non-fic storytellers are doing (and to keep up with how fic storytellers are building their businesses, eg. Self Publishing Podcast, Joanna Penn, Mark Dawson etc.). And I read books on my tablet’s Kindle app, and listen to them late at night, some through Audible, some through Librivox. I also try to watch as much TV as possible – good serialized drama, the Better Call Sauls, the Justifieds, those kinds of things.

    I still don’t get enough words into my head every week. It’s a battle.

    The only shortcut I’ve developed is ruthlessness. I used to finish every book and every piece of writing and every TV show, on principle. Now I’ll happily walk away, or skim the rest of it or “cheat” with Wikipedia to find out what happens in the rest of the story, if it’s becoming a slog. Might be the smartest thing I’ve done with my reading habits, otherwise I’d be completely mired by now….

    Liked by 1 person

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