Can you read while you’re writing?

Can you read more than one book at a time?

I’m amazed when people tell me they read several books at once. Amazed! I mean, if I tried something like that… talk about a wibbly wobbly timey whimey mess, that’d be my brain.

I go so far as to not even READ anyone else’s book while I’m writing (while the voices in my head are talking). 🙂 I don’t know. I guess… I’m too afraid that something I read might accidentally spill out of my pen or will affect the way MY story was supposed to be told.

Am I OCD? More than likely. Am I weird? Most definitely. I mean, who isn’t. Right? Right?

I get lost in a good book. It sucks me in and let’s me watch it play out in my mind. It doesn’t matter if it’s printed or I’m listening to an audiobook, it just happens. There have been times it has literally taken me DAYS to come back to reality. I’m not even playing. Do you remember the first time you read Tolkien? Until I got to the end, my mind stayed in Middle Earth, or the Shire, or the land of Rohan. Lord of the Rings was a magical journey I had an extremely hard time coming back from.

When I have to travel, a good audiobook (or several) is locked, loaded, and ready to go on my iPad. There have been times I’ve literally looked up at my intended hotel and said “Geezy peez… How’d I get here already?” And I’m not playing. Creepy? You bet.

I am a series reader. I LOVE a good series. Probably because it keeps me in its world that much longer, not real sure. But if I find an author that can transport me through time and space and dimensions, then I’m all over that!!! Few authors do that, but the ones that do… I totally want to gobble them up! Have you read Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart series? Okay, if you haven’t, you gotta check it out. I’m a grown woman and still, while I was reading her stuff, I was lost in her world. I mean, if I heard someone reading aloud, I’d be like… What are you doing? Stop it! What’s wrong with you? What if you read something out of that thing like Capricorn, or worse…Basta? Dude, just…keep it to yourself. That’s all I’m saying. Of course, they’d look at me like I was a total freak, but you gotta read the books to see what I was going through. And speaking of Inkheart, I bought that book on a whim. I was just standing there, begging my daughter to hurry it up, when this lovely little red book caught my eye. The colors were intriguing, the pictures and bits of odd things on the cover just captivated me. I bought it on the spot. Didn’t read the blurbs, never heard of the author, and it wasn’t even on sale. I judged that little book by its cover, and I’m so glad I did. Wait, did I just go off chasing rabbits? Or was that a squirrel?

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, writing and reading.

Currently I’m writing on my fifth and sixth books, and the scenes just keep playing out for me. So… I write. It’s a good thing. Yet, as I type this, I’m looking at three books I was waiting on (anxiously waiting on) and they’ve been right there on the shelf for months now. So yeah, it’s good… But also bad because I haven’t read the last Sookie book yet, Clockwork Princess is collecting dust, and P.C. Cast has been cast off to the side for the time being. Lol, that made me giggle.

So, how are you wired? Are you a multi-booker, or are you more of a single-minded kind of bloke?

I guess you can tell, I’m totally single-minded. And that’s all well and good for me. I might be single-minded, but I’m not narrow-minded. And therein lies the difference.

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4 Responses to Can you read while you’re writing?

  1. This is actually really great to hear. I’ve always felt like when I’m writing, I’m writing and when I’m reading, I’m reading. I don’t fear so much that what I’m reading will affect my writing. For me it’s about time. I only have time for one or the other. I read agent up dates about how they are reading books in addition to manuscripts, queries and edits. HOW DO THEY DO IT? I read a blog yesterday that really discouraged me as a writer. It said, among many other points, that if you are not reading while you are writing you are “doing it all wrong.” I know I should read, read, read as an author….but when?

    • jenevier says:

      And I do read, read, read…but only when I’m not writing. Lol. My finger cramps up sometimes, but the story must be told. I figure that I’ll read when it all dries up. I mean, there are stopping places and down time for everyone. I’m assuming one day I will experience a writers block. When that happens, I’ll cram in all the books I’ve been saving for just such an occasion. It’ll be like a little party for my mind, reward for all the hard work. Don’t get discouraged when another writer says things should be this way or that. We are all unique creatures, totally different in how we work and just what it is that makes us tick. Some people write horror, some are blessed with vampires living in their dreams, some tell us of war and peace and cowboys and love affairs. It’s the things that make us different that’s so beautiful. I mean, wouldn’t it be an apocalyptic day if you walked into the library and could only find ONE kind of book? Horrible! And worse still, what if it wasn’t even your favorite genre? I can imagine no worse hell. It would be like walking into a museum that only had one painting, or entering a theatre that showed only one movie. It’s our differences that make life enjoyable. So celebrate yourself and your own process. You are unique, and life would be so boring if you weren’t. Nos da, Sister. 🙂

  2. sureasmel says:

    I don’t think I’d be able to write without reading. Reading gives me a still-stimulating, still-creative break from my own story and keeps me engaged in the world of fiction. Similarly, as it take me bare minimum a few months to really write a novel, there’s no way I could go that whole time without reading a book. I do, however, try to read things that kind of ‘fit’ with whatever genre I’m writing in so I don’t stray from it accidentally. I.e., right now I’m playing detective and writing a mystery so I’ve been reading a lot of crime fiction.

  3. jenevier says:

    Ah yes. We each have our own process. As long a people accept what works for them…then we’re all the better for it. Being a writer is a uniquely creative form of art. And nothing stifles creativity like someone else’s rules. Be true to yourself and you’ll always make at least one person happy. Being the same would be like only having vanilla ice cream to chose from. No way! Give me a scoop of Rocky Road AND a scoop of Chunky Monkey, put some cashews on one side and a bit of candy sprinkles on the other. :). Now THAT’S living. 🙂

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