1. Siberith
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    Siberith Member

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    I have Reading Block.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Siberith, Apr 1, 2011.

    As much as I always loved to write, reading was never there for me. I mean, there are a lot of good books I read, don't get me wrong. Though whenever I click on a thread, I get a since of boredness and lazyness from the start. As awful as it seems, I must find a cure! :3
     
  2. Finhorn
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    Finhorn Senior Member

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    Take some time off to watch TV or go running?

    Better advice is to read professionally published books and short stories. If find that when I'm bored for random stuff it's because I feel that I'm not going to get anything out of it or that it's going to be bad and I just don't want to read something like that again.

    Looking at stuff that's already pro quality can help. I'm going to suggest "Phineas and Ferb" for TV, Sundown for running, and "My Mother She killed Me, My father He Ate Me" as a book.

    The TV is a well written cartoon full of fun little ideas and phrases. It's the highest rated among kids right now and for good reason. All of the episodes are available streaming from Netflix. It can also be found at random times on the Disney Chanel.

    Sunset is nice to run becasue there's still light and it's nice and warm. If you live somewhere hotter (it'll be up to 92 where I live), sunset is still nice because you can run away the stresses of the day and work up a good sweat before a shower and an evening of other entertainments.

    The book is a collection of short stories done by fairly famous writers. What it is is new fairy tales. Some are set in the present while others have a more traditional location. You can get it for about $10 either physically or as an ebook from all major book sellers.

    If you try one of these or find another solution, I'd love for you to let me (or us) know because some days I feel the same way.
     
  3. Sidewinder
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    Sidewinder Contributing Member Contributor

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    "click on a thread --" Are you saying you have trouble reading stuff on the forum? If so, that's totally understandable. Just keep clicking until you find something that interests you.

    Or if you're talking about books, try audio books.
     
  4. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    If you do not read, good luck writing
     
  5. Bay K.
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    Bay K. Contributing Member

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    Pace yourself.
    Read the first paragraph, breathe, then muse over it.
    Read the second paragraph, pause, breathe, muse over it, then relate it to the first.
    Read the third paragraph ...

    When your brain becomes like a cheap 30 watt light-bulb and starts fizzling out, stop!
    (There's that nice bar around the corner. :) ).
    The story will always be there and can be returned to.
    But that exhausted-boredom drink ... priceless! :)
     
  6. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    I also have the same problem; actually I generally hate reading since I'm easily bored (well, I'm easily bored by most stories regardless of medium, as it takes a lot to impress me) so it's really hard for me to get myself to read. Ultimately, reading is still the best way to learn how to write, of course, that is undeniable, but sometimes it might help to get a different storytelling perspective from other forms of media, such as film, TV series, and so forth. You might even want to look at things from other cultures, like anime or French movies or classical Persian literature, in order to find new, refreshing things.

    Recently, over the last summer, I forced myself to watch craploads of anime (I rarely watched anime before, and all I knew and cared about it came from either my friends or the internet), and it was a very educational experience, exposing me to different styles of storytelling, characterization, and plotting I was only vaguely aware of, and I think that ultimately it helped me with my writing a lot. That's just an example of how a different medium can help your writing.

    They're all no substitute for reading a good book, of course, but I think they're a good way to divert your time when you don't want to read, but always come back to the reading. Writing is going to be difficult if you don't read.
     
  7. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can relate to your problem, I easily get bored from reading too, maybe because I need peace and quiet and right now that Im living at my moms house that is hard to find :D But I also find it difficult to find a book that catches my attention. When I was younger I read A LOT, but nowadays I am so much more picky about what to read. Especially when realizing that the books that I fond the most entertaining is not what you would call "quality litterature", hehe. So it's also some sort of knowing that I "should" read all these "good" books instead of the books I like, which takes the fun away.

    How do you do that? what does it mean? :D
     
  8. Smoke
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    Smoke Contributing Member

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    It may just be your choice of reading material. Hit the library and see what you can come up with. Try wandering into the children's section and pick up a book from a long series, then wander into the adult area and pick up something from each sorting category. Pick up some monthly story publication like Analogue.

    I actually had a different sort of problem with my reading material. Some was digital, forcing me to remain upright at my computer. Some of it was paperback, which meant it was hard to hold open. (At least our paperback collection doesn't have scorpions anymore. It was distracting to have a barely-perceptible red dot wandering around the page.) Some of my books are very heavy.
     
  9. Invincible
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    Invincible Member

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    It is your choice of reading material. What do you enjoy writing? There's bound to be something similar that you can read.

    But you seem to be talking about forum threads. And well, that's an odd sort of complaint.
     
  10. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Read stuff similar to what you write. The idea that writers have to be so eager to read that they'll read anything they can get their hands on never made ANY sense to me. It's like saying musicians need to listen to anything passed off as music, no matter how trashy. Read what interests you and don't feel that you have to read something you don't like just to meet some stereotype that writers have to be obsessed with reading.

    Reading has always seemed overrated to me in it's usefulness in writing. (And kind of inconsistent.) We're supposed to read to learn how to write by seeing what works with published authors, but whenever we find published books that go against what writing "experts" say, we're supposed to ignore it because those books are the exceptions to the rule.

    So if you want to read a book, read a book. Find a book that you like and read it. But don't waste time reading something that you don't enjoy just to say you're reading. IMO, you'll do MUCH more harm than good forcing yourself to read something you don't like. (I know I did. I used to HATE all books because I was forced to read book after book that I despised. IMO, it's better to wait for reading that you enjoy.)
     
  11. Invincible
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    Invincible Member

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    This is irrelevant to the point at hand, but I agree with this analysis on reading.

    I can actually relate to the musical comparison. I hated music in my childhood b/c most stuff I heard was in my native language/classical stuff that I simply couldn't find interest in. Now, it's become a completely different beast.

    I have a nasty habit of not finishing books I start simply b/c I feel it's a waste of time. On the other hand, I'll go out of my way to find books that I feel interested in.
     
  12. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Liking writing but not reading is like wanting to talk but never to listen.
     
  13. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I disagree. I am one of those people who will read anything I can get my hands on. That being said I know MANY people who are not like me, and several of them are VERY effective writers in their chosen genre. I think the generalization that if you don't read everything you can't write anything is every bit as damaging as saying that if you don't do everything exactly THIS way you'll never make it in the world. Nothing changes that way and everyone is different. Cut people some slack.
     
  14. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with you completely.
     
  15. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    ^I agree too. I hate reading [fiction], almost all the time. Actually I hate watching movies, watching TV shows, seeing plays, etc. etc., but we'll just say I hate reading for argument's sake. I just do. Lots of stories just bore me to death, even the ones people say are interesting. My friends sort of find it a funny game to find something that gets anything of a reaction from me.

    Yet I really enjoy writing. I guess maybe because I found other stories so boring I decided to make my own. Who knows.

    That being said, you should still read, of course, particularly stories with similar plots, themes, or character types and so forth. It'll certainly help you think about your own plots, themes, character types, and so forth. Still, you don't need to read 100 books a month or anything like that. Anyone who says you have to read a whole crapload is, in my opinion, very misguided - you can probably help your writing a lot more by having a life and garnering those life experiences that will enrich your stories.
     
  16. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is my post or your post the one that's irrelevant? (Just cause it's kinda ambiguous and I don't wanna misunderstand something else. xD)
     
  17. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think I said anything about "reading everything" vs. "writing anything". However, writing, like speaking, is ultimately an exercise in communication. In the case of fiction writing, there is no built-in necessity of the reader to read a given story (as opposed to non-fiction writing, such as news reporting, where the need to know will impel the reader to avail himself or herself of a given piece of writing). It is therefore necessary for a writer to be able to easily make a connection with a reader. And I don't see that happening if the writer is incapable of making such a connection from the reader's end. And the writer who attempts to do so, in my opinion, is little different from the speaker who never listens.
     
  18. MidnightPhoenix
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    MidnightPhoenix Contributing Member

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    It took me a while to read things on computer but I have been getting into some of the story on the forum. It like reading from a book, I can't get into this zombie book, called Warm Bodies. But I say just take it step by step, if you can't get into it then you can't but there is some good ones on the forum:)
     
  19. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Perhaps I'm misunderstanding. So what you're saying is that if I live a difficult life, if I have a lifetime of heartbreaking experiences, I am capable of using a vocabulary in a meaningful way, and I have an understanding of how to make my readers feel what I have felt my writings will be useless because my life experience will be useless compared to the knowledge someone else may have gotten from books? I'm really hoping that's not what you're saying, but unless you're now backtracking I don't know what else it could be?
     
  20. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    You are misunderstanding, but more accurately, you are assuming what someone can do in circumstances that I am questioning would be possible. To wit: "capable of using vocabulary in a meaningful way...hav(ing) and understanding of how to make my readers feel what I have felt..."

    How does one acquire such knowledge if not through reading? How does one learn to use the language in a compelling way, if not by seeing how others have done? Are you saying that it is possible to attend a couple of "how-to" workshops on writing, and be immediately able to make words sing the way, say, Shakespeare made them sing? Or to create characters as tragic as, say, Arthur Miller or Tennessee Williams created? Or to create characters as memorable as those created by Charles Dickens? Or to create stories as chilling as Stephen King's? As gripping as Tom Clancy's? As resonant of history as James Michener or Leon Uris? As compelling as Ernest Hemingway's?

    As for having lived a difficult life, I must say (as one who has lived a difficult life myself) that I see nothing in that which qualifies one to be a writer. Yes, it may well be a handy source for story lines, but that does not mean you instantly have the ability to write them. Writing is a craft that must be learned. Tell me a better way to learn it than reading, please.
     
  21. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Well I certainly find your stance interesting, I'll give you that. I am proposing that it is possible to be an effective writer without even attending a how-to workshop. I am proposing that it is NOT always necessary to be taught how to write. I am proposing that just like some people just CAN send chills up your spine with voices of angels in song, there are some who just CAN understand language and use it to make a story come alive without reading four hundred books a year or attending work shops.

    As for the difficult life, I am proposing that if one possesses the talent of which I speak, the ups and downs of tragedy after heartwrenching tragedy may allow such a talented person the ability to find the words to express that misery and have the reader feel it as their own.
     
  22. aimi_aiko
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    aimi_aiko Contributing Member

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    You're not alone, I have these moments all the time. I'm even having issues with it at the moment. Sometimes, I won't be in the mood to read anything, books, threads, articles, you name it. Then there are the days I will read tons of them. As for a cure, I have no idea what may work for you; but I usually let it pass on it's own or purposely stop myself from writing so much, then I'd feel the want to read instead. Though, stopping myself from writing usually kills me inside.

    You'll pass it soon.
     
  23. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, on the subject of workshops, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt.

    In any field of human endeavor, there is always a rare example of someone who possesses a natural ability to perform at a high level. But even they cannot achieve great things without a genuine love of the thing for which they possess the talent. The would-be writer who shuns reading is exhibiting a disdain for the craft. And one who disdains his own craft will not long succeed at it.

    I suggest at this point that we agree to disagree.
     
  24. Invincible
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    Invincible Member

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    Mine.
     
  25. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    There are people out there who can read a book a day for their whole lives and never learn a goddam thing. And there are others who can read only a very few books and learn a great deal. It has to do with what you bring to the reading.

    I think a writer should read some good books, just to know what good writing is. But that doesn't mean he has to force himself to read and read and read constantly. Natural talent can make up for a lot of not reading.

    But even a composer as gifted as Mozart could never have written great music if he had never heard great music. Mozart was trained in music from early childhood. He wasn't a genius who appeared spontaneously out of nowhere.

    Ernest Hemingway never studied writing formally at a university, but he was trained as a reporter, and sat at the feet of such luminaries as Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein and Sherwood Anderson and Ford Madox Ford when he was in his early twenties in Paris. And he read a great deal. It's hard to find an example of a great writer who didn't read.
     

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