Why It’s Good to Read, but Necessary to Write

The last month has been all over. I attended a major conference, learning the history of Jerusalem that will help my role as a pastor. I visited both my and my wife’s families. My bride and I got away without our insanity of kids. As such, my regular writing schedule has suffered. As in, I’ve done basically no writing for a month, nor any writing-related activities like submitting stories to markets and such.

That said, I’ve found time to be reading. Oh, it was so good to dig into a number of novels. Some fantasy, some horror, a short story collection, all good reads. I lost myself in worlds I didn’t create.

This time of creative rest rejuvenated me. Rather than putting words on a page, I absorbed words from a page. I got to admire the craft others had worked to develop.

But now I’m home. Life is returning to what I laughingly call normal.

On the way home, I felt my brain shift. My wife and I mapped out a broad outline and started worldbuilding for a new series. (Obviously I need another project!) While away, I was all about reading. But now, now it was time to get back to writing.

Reading is good. Brains need to be fed. If you’re a writer, you really do need to read.

But you know what?

You’re not a writer if you don’t write.

You could be a dreamer. You could be a storyteller in other mediums. You could have big plans.

But unless you’re getting words on a page, you’re not a writer.

For me, I tend to go in spurts. I’ll read for a while, and then throw myself into writing. While I didn’t plan it that way, the timing worked well this month. Writing can be very difficult for me when I don’t have my normal schedule. However, in the unpredictable schedule I’ve had the last month, I’ve been able to fit in a half-dozen or so novels.

In “normal time,” I can choose one or the other. It doesn’t work that way for everyone, of course, but if I’m reading, it means I’m not writing. And if I’m writing, I usually don’t have the brain bandwidth nor the time to commit to reading anything.

So I need to decide: What’s more important? Do I need to read, or do I need to write?

Well, yes.

But for now, what’s more important?

I’m a writer. So it’s time to write.

It’s time to create worlds and populate them with people and have them make decisions to go do things. It’s time to edit a novel and scour a proof of a different novel. It’s time to outline a new series and find markets for some short stories.

It’s time to do what a writer does.

It’s time to write.

Published by Jon

Jon lives in Kentucky with his wife and an insanity of children. (A group of children is called an insanity. Trust me.)

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