I’m in that phase of life – the Tasmanian devil in a mini van phase. And the endless running around leaves me wondering how to follow the holy grail of advice to writers:
READ – read – READ!
I tried reading in the morning while I ate my cereal. Not my brightest idea. My day goes a little like this. I wake up long before the sun comes up and wake up my children (two who are far too peppy for 6 am). Then clothes and hair and teeth and lunches. Some shoe tying and shoe finding, then library book hunting – under the bed, under the couch – until we’re five minutes past go time. One says they never ate breakfast, so I hand them an apple and bread and shoo them out the door. Repeat the process two times for my middle schooler and high schooler – throw in a little driving faster than I should ’til that school zone sign comes in to view and you’ve got my morning (sounds familiar to any of you?). I count it a success if my kids get in the front door before the bell rings, I mean, who’s really looking if their socks match anyway? So…
Reading while I eat breakfast is out.
The rest of my day isn’t much slower. I work from home part-time, which sounds magical to everyone I tell and in many ways it is. But without set work hours and no clear cut ‘coffee breaks’ and ‘lunch hours’ like most office jobs – reading while I work is not an option either.
Afternoon carpool is different. I have about fifteen minutes in the car before my kids come out. I used to try and squeeze in some writing here (and still do sometimes) but most often, I read. Repeat that twice for picking up my middle schooler and high schooler and I’ve got 30-40 minutes of reading under my belt.
Afternoon carpool reading is a GO!
Is it selfish that that’s not enough time to me? I crave a big, long chunk of reading time but almost never get it unless I do the following:
Swap TV/Internet zoning out for reading time.
With four kids and all the after school activities that come with that, sometimes there isn’t even TV time to swap. When I do choose a book over HGTV I’m always more satisfied. In reality, I wish I was one of those avid readers that always preferred a book over TV – but I’m not. Often TV wins out, but I still think – especially on the channel flipping nights- we should all do ourselves a favor by turning it off and grabbing a book instead.
The only curse (or maybe it’s a blessing) I have with reading is it puts me to sleep. Anyone else have this problem? When I read I calm down. My body seems to take that as a cue that it’s time to sleep. When I was reading the sixth Harry Potter book for the first time, I came to the climactic seen in the tower – you know the one I’m talking about. One of the most pivotal scenes in the entire series, and what do I do mid-sentence? I fall asleep. I woke up four different times trying to finish the scene and couldn’t. I finally gave in to the sleep and finished the chapter when I woke. My husband still teases me about that to this day.
Bedtime is my reading time.
My reading curse makes bedtime a great time for reading. It helps me unwind and fall asleep faster. Before my husband convinced me to trying reading at bedtime I would lie in bed for nearly 45 minutes – waiting for the chatter in my head to quiet. Books quiet my internal chatter ’til all I hear is the story I’ve wrapped myself in.
Then… I fall asleep. 🙂
Being a reader does not require ideal circumstances. Don’t let yourself or anyone around you try and convince you it does. Readers can come from any kind of life and any level of busy – you just have to want it bad enough.
When and where do you read?
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