Monday, February 28, 2011

One Story at a Time...


I have a hard time reading fiction while I'm intensely writing my own fiction. It's as though I can only carry one story at a time in my head.

Does anyone else have this problem? Or is it time to reformat the hard-drive in my brain, because I've clearly reached capacity?

34 comments:

  1. Blogger is giving me trouble this morning!!!

    I for one do not write and read at the same time. I have to shut my reading room until the writing is complete. I wish it wasn't the case but it is!!!

    As for your book I'm excited to say I'm snagging a Kindle in March and your book is on my list of purchases!! I'm excited!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sometimes! But if I've gotten a lot of work done then i read at night. I just stay away from books that are similar to mine b/c I don't want to pick up on the wrong voice.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Generally, when I'm writing I can't concentrate on reading a novel. Besides the distraction, I always end up comparing my writing to what I'm reading and end up feeling deficient!

    ...and I did read the article on Memory--thanks to Google Translate!

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Jen Congrats on your new Kindle! And I'm super pleased that my book will be one of your firsties! :)

    @Laura I struggled with reading a voice and then writing my own for a while, but that's not so much my issue these days. Now I just am so intense in the story, it's like I get ADD trying to keep two stories straight. Ugh!

    @JB That's what happens to me whenever I read Scott Westerfeld. Or Suzanne Collins. Or Holly Black. I have to forget a bit of their awesomeness before I can write again. :) And you Google Translated a whole article?? Cool.

    ReplyDelete
  5. i love reading when i'm in the midst of working on my manuscript. before, between, after. though i only read the genre in which i am writing and i only read books that i know are amazing. it just keeps me pumped up and inspired.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ha ha! SOmetimes, yes. I usually have set times for both so my brain knows which to function with. I write in the early mornings and read right before bed. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nope. I can't go to sleep unless I've read, and it has to be fiction. And since I write (fiction) everyday, it means not having an issue with doing both. ;)

    But I'm the same as PK. I write fiction during the day and read at bedtime (unless it's a book I can't put down). In the evening, I'm usually doing something blog related or beta reading.

    ReplyDelete
  8. LOL I know this feeling well! I usually write in the morning and then when the kids head to school - at night I tend to suddenly get soooo sleepy that my mind just doesn't function the way I want it to no matter what. Maybe I need a reset! Happy Monday!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Interesting. Before I started writing, I read all the time. Once I committed myself to writing seriously, I stopped reading so much, fearful that too many ideas would clog my flow. I think I was correct in some ways and not so much in others. Reading is relaxing for me, taking me out of the stresses of my day. It also gets my creative juices flowing.

    When I'm in the midst of writing, I do focus more on my story angles, plots, etc... But when I'm backed into a corner with my own work, I find reading helps unravel me to think clearly again.

    Make any sense at all?

    ReplyDelete
  10. The problem I have is that I have too many ideas at the same time. I often have 5-10 word documents open working on that many stories.

    ReplyDelete
  11. @Anon Yay for you! I wish I could do that!

    @PK Maybe setting aside a specific time would help separate it in my brain...

    @Stina My mom is the same way - can't sleep unless she reads first! I'm the opposite - books keep me up all night because I can't put them down.

    @Lindsay When you figure out how to do the reset, let me know! :)

    @Sheri It's been an evolution for me too. I started reading MORE once I started writing, but I alternated reading/writing because I would get so absorbed in each. It does help me think about my own writing, too, so I keep flipping back and forth. I'm still figuring it out! ;)

    @John I'm impressed that you juggle so many ideas at once. Awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Like some others have said, I like to read at bedtime. For me it is like a meal for my creativity. These forays into others' imaginary worlds give me energy for my own.

    I recently took a break from novel writing to jump into short stories and poetry. I've found that I actually enjoy having several pieces in process at once. I've always been such a focus gal before now--one thing at a time all the time. But as I work a little here, a little there, there's a synergy among all the work, which has been cool to discover.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have no problem reading while I write. I mean, not at the exact same time! I definitely don't read as much when I'm totally into writing a book, but I do still read. I can't imagine NOT reading. Ever.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Since I tend to confuse the whole yours, mine and ours thing. I only read non-fiction and things very far removed from what I write. How can one survive if they don't read at all? Not even a cereal box?

    ReplyDelete
  15. @Laurel "a meal for my creativity" = awesome! I think between juggling marketing for my already-published-novel and my querying-novel and my WiP, it's about the max I can handle in the juggling department! But I can totally see synergy in the projects. :)

    @Sherrie You are a better woman than me! :) Also, I DO still read (non-fiction, etc), just not fiction when I'm in the intense-phase-of-writing where my own fiction takes over my brain.

    @Mary That's what I do too - blogs, the newspaper, non-fiction...and yes, the cereal box. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Since what I write is so different from what I read, I don't have that problem. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have the opposite problem. I can never concentrate on one story at a time. I usually work on at least two major writing projects at once. Right now I'm working on reading two books as well --and that's not counting my recent addiction to watching complete seasons of Upstair Downstairs . . .

    ReplyDelete
  18. @Shannon I think that would do it! :)

    @Taryn You are a multi-tasker extraordinaire! :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I don't usually have trouble reading and writing at the same time--unless what I'm working on relates to the book in some way, and then I'll start getting confused.

    (Word Verification is an actual word this time! "Dental". LOL.)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I can do both fine, but then I'm an addict. I get the shakes if I can't read. :)

    But I know lots of writers who mostly read between projects, or at least between active stages of projects.

    ReplyDelete
  21. (Though sometimes there's simply not enough time to do a lot of both)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I was the same when I really got stuck into my WIP. I was too involved in my story to want to get into another one. Once I started nearing the end and had it mostly figured out, I had the urge to pick up a novel again.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have the issue where I find myself unable to focus on one story at a time. I have to read a novel while I'm writing one, or I have to hop back and forth between two novels.It can be a little flustering at times.

    ReplyDelete
  24. @Eagle That's what I mean as well - too close to what I'm writing. :)

    @Bryan I think I'm one of those types - in the active stage, where I'm deep into it, the story takes over my brain.

    @Friday Yes, exactly! It's almost a relief when I can read something again. :)

    @Amy My Eldest Son is like this! Has multiple books going at once. Kinda boggles my mind. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Susan. Following your blog now (by way of Nathan B's).

    I don't usually have a problem reading other novels while working on a project, though I admit I do have to be careful about not "lifting" the voice of the author -- unless they're really good.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Sometimes. I have a tendency to mimic whatever it is I'm reading. Sometimes this is good (I was reading Terry Pratchett in the early days of Air Pirates, which I think added a lot to the humor). Other times, not so good (see: James Patterson).

    So I can do it, but I have to be careful.

    ReplyDelete
  27. @L.G. Welcome! Thanks for hopping over from Nate the Great's!

    @Adam Hm, maybe not mimic the Patterson voice, but mimic-ing his sales wouldn't be too shabby! :) (and Terry Pratchett rocks, but I think my written imitation of his voice would be as bad as my British accent).

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm the same way, and I find if whatever I'm reading has a really strong voice, that voice seeps into my writing and I end doing a lot of rewriting. Kind of frustrating, but it does help me hone in on my main character's voice. :)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the follow! :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. I kind of crave other people's writing while I'm working on something of my own. Sort of a mental dental flossing.

    ReplyDelete
  30. For me reading while I write helps my muse. It helps me keep an eye on the prize and it also helps my writing to immerse myself in polished work.

    ReplyDelete
  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I read while I'm writing and revising, and haven't had a problem. I find I'm more aware of what I'm writing, even if I'm reading in the same genres as my own writing.

    Try eating more blueberries - good for the memory cells, and cheaper than a download or upload.

    ReplyDelete
  33. @Abby I think Voice is something that's constantly evolving. Thanks for stopping by! :)

    @CLee "Mental dental floss" = awesome. :)

    @Leisha I know what you mean about "being immersed in polished work." It does keep you focused. :)

    @DG *chomps on blueberries* :) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I've found I'm a lot more critical of what I read. If the book isn't fantastic, then I feel like I've wasted time I could have used writing. But I still read.

    ReplyDelete

Erudite comments from thoughtful readers