There are multiple purposes for this blog. First, I'd like to share with you how mental illness can interfere with or enhance the writer's life. Second, I want to explore a more disciplined approach to the writing life. This blog will hold me accountable as I navigate story throughout my battle with mental illness.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Reading Routine Reinvestigated

I've been trying to juggle too many reading projects at once. I was trying to juggle fiction, nonfiction, and a writing nonfiction books. I simply can't do it. Between the OCD and ADD, I'm too afraid to even begin; when I do I bounce amongst them so much that I can't retain anything. Therefore, I have implemented a new plan. I will try to read one book at a time, and try to read it within three days. I've been googling reading speeds and how quickly I should be able to finish a book. If I read 250 words (about 1 page) per minute, then I should be able to get through a 500 page book in about 8 hours. If 1.5 minutes per page, then 12 hours, which is doable. I will read parts of one writing nonfiction book when I need a break from the fiction.

Most of the fiction I will be reading will be science fiction or techno-thriller from which I may be able to get techniques and ideas for my current WIP.

As Thomas Edison said:

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."



  1. I think that I posted in your previous post, because I've never been able to conquer reading numerous, unrelated books at once.

    I really think that most people can't read several unrelated books at once (I can't, and I don't even have ADHD or OCD)--so it may not be a failure, but just something that few people can do. I'm not sure speed-reading would solve the problem, either, with the exception of some of the nonfiction books that try to tackle things like freelance writing (because half of it is filled with fluff).

    Can I just throw in another idea if this is your goal? If your objective is to learn about "how to write scifi" or something along those lines, read a chapter from one of the nonfiction how to write scifi books every few days but inbetween read short scifi stories (or a longer scifi book). The goal would be to read about "how to write characters" or something, but then read from the best of the best scifi authors who can do that.

    2 cent opinion from someone who can't read many books at once, either.

  2. What is it that you want to get from reading the books? I often have OCD rules about what I "should" be doing, which is often different than what actually serves me.

  3. Susan - Thanks for the advice.
    expwoman - Thanks for visiting. I have goals of learning for each type of book I read. I suppose I should write these down somewhere to remind myself to stay focused.