Reading to Write

Reading used to be my favorite hobby. I recently discovered it also helps me conquer writer’s block (thanks for the suggestion, professor)! But how do you start?

The trick is finding something that can hold your attention. Anything you have to force yourself to read isn’t worth it–assuming you’re reading for pleasure. I recommend blog posts about something that interests you to start because it won’t feel like something you’re marking off your to-do list.

If you’re like me, you have buddies who write. Exchange some ideas and even story excerpts. Reading someone else’s work might jolt your mind back into being creative, too. Don’t know any writers? There are tons of writing communities online, and lots of them are free.

Oh, and don’t underestimate the power of an old-fashioned book. I read a note from Cheryl Strayed, the author of “Torch” (the book I’m reading), and that was enough to push me over the edge; I’m writing my own material again.

I can’t say for sure how much I read to get over my block, but it wasn’t a lot. All in all, I’d estimate it took about 20-30 pages worth of a trade back sized book before I started writing on my own. It wasn’t a big deal! Besides, if it gets you back to being a productive writer, it’s worth it, right?

Do you have more ideas to conquer writer’s block? I’d love to hear them!

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