Reading to Recharge by Debra H. Goldstein
No deadlines! No responsibility! What was I to do with myself once I turned in the second book for Kensington’s new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series, the final edits for the first book, One Taste Too Many, the synopsis for the third book in the series, and a short story looking for a home?
Answer: Nothing or should I say, “almost nothing.”
Unlike writers who immediately start another project because they have trained themselves to write 1500-2000 words per day, I’m not that disciplined. I keep up with any community or volunteer obligations I have, but other than that, I watch TV, play spider solitaire, visit with my family, go out to lunch with friends, and immerse myself in reading. Catching up on reading is my greatest joy and probably the best use of my time.
I begin by reading any magazines I’m behind on. Once I finish the periodicals, I move on to books. There is no rhyme or reason to my selections. My choices during the past few weeks included Kitchen Confidential (Anthony Bourdain), Poppy Done to Dead (Charlaine Harris), Someday Someday Maybe (Lauren Graham), Black Fedora, Glitter and Glue (Kelly Corrigan), The Hangman (Louise Penny), Kitty Kitty Bang Bang (Sparkle Abbey), Beach Trip (Cathy Holton), Dead Storage (Mary Feliz) and The President is Missing (Bill Clinton and James Patterson), How to Write Pulp Fiction (James Scott Bell), I Know What You Bid Last Summer (Sherry Harris), and The Day I Died (Lori Rader-Day). Surprisingly, because of their variety in subject matter and writing styles, I enjoyed them all (though I did figure out the Patterson book earlier than I would have preferred). I’m planning to give myself another few days to read because it recharges me.
When I write, I lose myself in my own world of words. Reading lets me taste the thoughts, opinions, and construction mechanisms of other writers. When this intense period ends, I will continue to read before bed or while traveling; but, better yet, I will return to my writing world with a wider perspective.
What do you use to recharge yourself or expand your horizons?