1. Alejandro89
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    Alejandro89 Member

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    Writing vs reading

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Alejandro89, Mar 28, 2016.

    Conventional wisdom tells us that one and the other are related to one another in a very close way, but in a conference on the subject, they said the brain has two distinct areas for each one of these activites. Its funny because I can write for very long periods of time, but I have a harder time keeping my concentration up while reading. Does anyone else has this problem? There are also those who can read hour upon hours but cant write. I'm not discounting the usefulness of reading to built a lingustic base for writing, just wanted to see if others have the same diference im attention span between one activity and the other.
     
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  2. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Same. It depends on the difficulty of what I'm reading. Currently reading Iron Kingdom. For a someone with English as their second language, it's quite the challenge sometimes.
     
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  3. carsun1000
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    carsun1000 Active Member

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    This is one of the reasons why a lot of writers use editors for their works. Writing is fun, but reading is not. Picking up a novel or any book for that matter is challenging for writers. So I can see how some (not all) writers have more fun writing for hours as opposed to reading for hours.
     
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  4. MeadhbhMoryx
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    MeadhbhMoryx Member

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    Before writing I was a reader for days, but now I find it harder to concentrate because my own story distracts me. Better minds than mine say one must read in order to write. I would guess most writers do read? I think it definitely built up my linguistic base but then again there is always exceptions to a rule. I have been concerned about this. I am thinking of trying audio-books and painting or walking at the same time. I need to re-frame my intake of prose to suit my new distracted ways. Have you tried audio-books yourself?
     
  5. PassTheDrinks
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    PassTheDrinks Member

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    When I was writing a lot while growing up, I hardly read. I'd pick up a book every once and a while, but found no interest in reading.

    Nowadays, I am reading all the time (and getting jealous of all these published writers). I'd tell myself, I can do this. If these folks can write a good book and get it published, I can. In fact, I had read some books that, in my personal opinion, were not very good. Every time I picked up a new book, I'd think to myself, "I could be writing right now. I could be using this time to get where these people are". Not for money, not for fame. But for potential readers. I crave my words being read by someone else.

    And as I am posting this, I'm still thinking "I can be using this time to write", but at least I made a step in the right direction like getting involved in a writing community. This feels nice.
     
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  6. Alejandro89
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    Alejandro89 Member

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    You are right, getting published most of the times is about finding the right publisher and audience than the quality of the text. Also, I think some people have "seasons" for their writing, so sometimes is about waiting to the right time and eventually, it will come.
     
  7. Elven Candy
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    Elven Candy Contributing Member

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    I write as often as I can. Sometimes that's every spare moment for a week or more, and I don't get anything else done (that's optional, like reading or watching TV). Then I tend to burn out, or I can keep writing, but everything I put down is garbage. That's when I know I have to read a book. When I find the right one, I can write for another long period before having to read another book. If I'm really lucky, the book will kick start me being able to get down 3-6 pages a day for the first few days (I don't keep track of word count as much). I like reading now, though, so I genuinely enjoy the break.

    I'm always torn between reading and writing, but since writing takes more effort and I need quiet to really do it well, I do it whenever possible.
     
  8. Justin Phillips
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    Justin Phillips Active Member

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    Lately I can't read a book either. Something about it just doesn't hold my attention and my eyes glaze over. I love it when I'm reading though, and thinking about how I would write it differently.

    Actually I used to do that while watching tv, I would find myself unintentionally rewording in my head what was happening on the screen. It was kind of annoying though, as it distracted me from my show, but I kind of wish I could do it again and get back into my groove.
     
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  9. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    I always know when it's a good book when I start getting distracted by my internal dialogue. If I start having separate conversations with the characters and acting out entire scenes in my head with them I know I'm being entertained.

    I used to play a lot of pro-poker. I could easily listen to a twelve-hour audio book during a single tournament. Now that I'm writing I keep finding myself focusing on the little mistakes and other aspects of the book instead of just enjoying the story.
     
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  10. Justin Phillips
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    Justin Phillips Active Member

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    Yeah it kinda changes the experience huh. Hasn't happened to me lately, but I'm just getting warmed up after a 3 year sabbatical.
     
  11. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    I think when they say reading and writing is related they mean that if you want to be a good writer you have to read a lot of books. I dont think they mean to say you have to read at the same speed and with the same attention as you write. I can write for much longer than I can read because after a while i start to fall asleep especially if reading before bed.
     
  12. KevinMcCormack
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    KevinMcCormack Member

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    I also find reading to be so passive an activity that I can fade out for significant chunks.

    My solution at the moment is to listen to audiobooks when exercising, and to read physical books while commuting.
     
  13. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I struggle with both at times. Other times, I can write (or read) for hours on end. I think it has to do with the number of distractions in one's life.
     
  14. SadStories
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    SadStories Member

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    I would happily wake up in the morning, read the entire day and then go to sleep, if I could get away with living like that. On the other hand it has taken me a long time to get as comfortable as I am with writing these days, and I'm still growing.
     
  15. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    I can't enjoy reading what I used to read these days. Nowadays (since I started writing) I am getting really annoyed with a whole lot of authors which I used to just love. Guess this is hubris but I love my very own voice and when I read something else in my chosen genre or a similar one I tend to imagine myself writing this differently and this kind of spoils the fun :(

    But.. reading a different genre entirely has opened up amazing possibilites of enjoyment so there are compensations!
     
  16. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can read for days if I like what I am reading. Usually that lands somewhere withing the horror fantasy area.
    But if by chance I am reading about a celebrity (and that is a HUGE if) I get bored after reading the headline.

    I find Writing more interesting because it is creating as opposed to just observing.
     
  17. PrincessSofia
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    PrincessSofia Active Member

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    For me they are completely different. I write because I feel like I have a story to tell, at least to myself. It can be entertaining when the words flow and the story keeps moving, but some times it's really hard work and I don't write as an entertainment, as I would open a book or watch a tv show. When I read, on the other hand, my main goal is to be entertained or learn something, and my brain doesn't work nearly as hard as when I'm writing, so I don't feel " drained" after reading for a long time. So yeah I'd say I can read for a longer time than I can write, but writing feels more rewarding because I'm telling my own story.
     
  18. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    Reading is my way of relaxing, of opting out of daily life, as a distraction from difficulties I don't feel ready to deal with, of permitting some 'me' time. The type of books I choose to read depends on my mood, whether I need to concentrate on a complicated plot, whether I want to be entertained with humour, or just want someone other person's words to pass time with. I love finding a book I cannot put down.

    Writing, on the other hand, requires me to have a head clear of distraction, it leaves me energised and buzzing, not relaxed. Writing gives me a sense of achievement, a creativity my day job does not involve.
     

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