“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
– Stephen King
As I described in my post yesterday, I don’t have a lot of time. I have to manage my time carefully.
Something else talked about yesterday is that writing is extremely important to me. It’s one of the “large rocks” I put into my time bucket first.
But what about reading?
Truth be told, I don’t have much time to actually read. The last book I actually read was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It’s a great book, and I’m glad to have read it. Unfortunately, it took me about 8 months, and it is not a long book.
I believe wholeheartedly that a good writer reads a lot. And I want to be a good writer.
The solution, at least for me, has been audio books.
I talked about two ideas in yesterday’s post regarding time management. Prioritize (put the big rocks in first) and Organize (combine activities when you can).
Audio books fit into the Organization part of my time management. I can listen to a book while doing something else. Most often, this is during my commute to work.
I started listening to books last year, and it’s had a huge improvement on my writing. I’m consuming more books than I used to, even when it’s only two hours a day.
I recommend a subscription with Audible. It costs about what I used to spend on World of Warcraft. With the subscription, I get a free book every month. If I need a second or third book in any given month, the subscription provides a good discount.
There some downsides to audio books. The big one is that a bad reader can be a huge distraction. As much as I love the Dresden Files, I had a hard time listening to Ghost Story because of the reader. He wasn’t necessarily bad, but he didn’t breathe the life into it that James Marsters did with the other books in that series. Then there was Ender’s Game. Most of it was fine, but the woman providing the voice for Valentine needed to drink a red bull or something. I’m currently listening to Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, and again, the woman reading the female voices isn’t quite right. She reads mechanically, so it sometimes sounds like Siri telling me a story.
Audio books have been a fantastic way for me to consume books. Try it if you haven’t already.