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Input vs. Output (1 Viewer)

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Plaidman

Senior Member
A writer must be a reader.

I’m sure we have all heard that, or something close to it. And, I believe that it’s true. But unless someone has managed to warp the time/space continuum, we all have only 24 hours in a day.

My question is, how do you manage your time between reading (input) and writing (output)? How do you decide that your going to spend time reading when you could be writing?
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
A writer must be a reader.

I’m sure we have all heard that, or something close to it. And, I believe that it’s true. But unless someone has managed to warp the time/space continuum, we all have only 24 hours in a day.

My question is, how do you manage your time between reading (input) and writing (output)? How do you decide that your going to spend time reading when you could be writing?

I listen to audio books while I'm writing and browsing forums. Sometimes I'll stop it to gather my thoughts, sometimes I'll relax back and 'really' take in the voice, and other times I'll be inspired to write a little more. The only reading I do is my own work.
 

Plaidman

Senior Member
I listen to audio books while I'm writing and browsing forums. Sometimes I'll stop it to gather my thoughts, sometimes I'll relax back and 'really' take in the voice, and other times I'll be inspired to write a little more. The only reading I do is my own work.

Maybe I don’t mentally multi-task well, but I have a hard time listening to books or podcasts while trying to work on something else. I find myself continually having to back up and re-listen to portions, sometimes multiple times.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Maybe I don’t mentally multi-task well, but I have a hard time listening to books or podcasts while trying to work on something else. I find myself continually having to back up and re-listen to portions, sometimes multiple times.

I don't listen to the story. I'm following nothing but the music in the voice. I'll often just pick a point in the story and start listening there. Words and how they're woven together is the most interesting and educational part of reading/Audiobooks. I had a similar feeling when I was trying to learn the piano. I'd hit one single note and listen to it dissipate, trying to hear the moment when the note could no longer be heard.
 

Plaidman

Senior Member
I don't listen to the story. I'm following nothing but the music in the voice. I'll often just pick a point in the story and start listening there. Words and how they're woven together is the most interesting and educational part of reading/Audiobooks...

That’s an interesting idea. Do you think this affects your writing and style?
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
That’s an interesting idea. Do you think this affects your writing and style?

Definitely, and that's the point. I don't copy them as such, I listen to the way their writing style places weight on particular things. Taking a simple example, if I were to write the same information in two different way, you can see how the weight is shifted:


His father died when he was sixteen.
When he was sixteen, his father died.

Here the weight shifts from 'sixteen' being the most important element to 'father died'. It's far more complicated than that of course. Short sentences tend to lean the weight on the beginning and ending of the sentence, whilst longer, more complex sentences are more evenly distributed with maybe some peaks and troughs along the way. It's how a writer uses that rhythm that I'm most interested in, as well as the grammatical structure they use, which often strengthens the intent.

So, when you change your sentences to prevent yourself from starting them with the same word each time, also note the change of intent.
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
I generally get in my reading in a half hour or so after I go to bed. I read until I recognize that what I think I just read isn't actually on the page. That's when I know I can safely put the book (actually Kindle) away and turn off the light. :) In warm weather, my wife and I will often take an hour in the afternoon outside with a cool drink and a good book.

Since I really bore down on my writing, I'm writing in the time I would have once spent doing more reading. I agree being well read is important for a writer, but luckily I'm not going begging there. I've been an avid reader for decades.

I've seen too many beginning writers who, I'm confident, never did much reading ... and certainly not quality material. That's a handicap.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I write pretty much every afternoon from noon-ish to 6pm. Spend a few hours with my wife watching television in the evening, then read at least two hours before going to sleep.

I rarely listen to audio books - and only use them with I'm driving long distance in my car. I never listen to anything other than the engine when I ride my motorcycle. On trips though, I take my kindle and read in the hotel room at night.
 
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druid12000

Senior Member
I generally get in my reading in a half hour or so after I go to bed. I read until I recognize that what I think I just read isn't actually on the page. That's when I know I can safely put the book (actually Kindle) away and turn off the light. :) In warm weather, my wife and I will often take an hour in the afternoon outside with a cool drink and a good book.

Since I really bore down on my writing, I'm writing in the time I would have once spent doing more reading. I agree being well read is important for a writer, but luckily I'm not going begging there. I've been an avid reader for decades.

I've seen too many beginning writers who, I'm confident, never did much reading ... and certainly not quality material. That's a handicap.

Lol! I especially like when what I read becomes the beginning of a dream :sleeping:
 

EternalGreen

Senior Member
I spend more time writing than reading. But I read many, many, MANY more words than I write.

A 500-word novel can be consumed in a few days if you're determined enough.
 
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