I suspect writers aren’t the only ones with too much time, too little to do.
Or as dear Willie Wonka in (the old, wonderful Gene Wilder version of) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would say, “Scratch that. Reverse it.”
Free Time? What is this thing called Free Time? When my grandson Boo complains that he’s bored, I just want to take a deep breath and be bored, too.
But no such luck. I have a To-Do List on my To-Do List. How about you? Do you ever get caught up? I work very late into most evenings…with the caveat that I sleep in a bit in the mornings. But not enough to really catch up on my sleep. (Thank our Good Lord for Sunday Sabbath naps! They are truly a lifesaver in this house.)
Because of my insanely busy lifestyle, it’s difficult for me to find time just to sit down and enjoy a good book. And yet it’s especially important for me as a writer to be keeping up with what’s happening in my genres and in publishing in general. In the words of Stephen King, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Relatively simple, anyway. So how, when and where do I make time to read?
- SUNDAY AFTERNOONS
I don’t work on Sundays, even when I have deadlines. I have a number of chronic health problems and I find I need to be “told” I have to take time off. That God is the one telling me helps, LOL!
I usually wake up from my nap before my disabled husband, so I spend that time reading.
- IN THE CAR
My husband has always been the main driver, and although that’s changed somewhat since his double stroke, he still loves getting behind the wheel, and I don’t. Happily, I don’t get motion sickness so I have no problem reading in the car. I always try to have my Kindle or a paperback with me.
Whether I’m on the treadmill or lifting hand weights, I’ve got earphones in my ears. I usually use exercise time to listen to business and self-improvement books or the occasional memoir. I know some people don’t care for books-on—hmm, what is it now? Yes, I’m old enough that my first thought was books on tape. Ha ha! Now I download books to my cell phone which attaches to my Bluetooth earphones. I remember a time before <<cough>> cell phones, never mind books-on-tape. In any case, listening to books helps me forget that I hate to exercise…which I really, really do.
Dishes and laundry have this nasty habit of piling up. What’s with that? It does, however, give me the opportunity to splurge. This is when I listen to the latest thriller or a classic, once again using audiobooks. I especially like listening to psychological thrillers this way—as long as I don’t break a glass by squeezing it too hard when something freaks me out.
- CELL PHONE
I have a Kindle app on my Samsung for those times when I don’t have a book with me—in the doctor’s waiting room, when we’re a little early for choir practice or at the park with the grandkids. Depending on the time of day and how I feel, I’ll either read something business-related or relax with a novel.
As I said earlier, I usually work late into the evening…technically early morning. So to get my brain from “I’m working,” to “I’m supposed to be asleep now,” I have a very focused ritual. I spend the first few minutes considering what I was especially grateful for that day. I try to come up with at least three unique things to thank God for. I then have my focused prayer time. After that, I’ll turn on another audiobook—no business books or thrillers now, however. This is when I’ll listen to the latest and greatest or a classic.
Now that I’ve shared some of the ways I find more time to read, I’m dying to know yours. Do you have any secrets I should know about? Go ahead—spill! I’ll give one commenter a copy of…well, it’s a secret, but I can promise you’ll enjoy it.