Thursday, January 08, 2009

Reading and Writing

If, like me, you're a writer, what percentage of your time should be given over to reading?

Half the time, a quarter, a third? What would you read? What about research?

When you analyse the process of writing, the actual time spent writing is fairly low. In same cases, such as non-fiction books, it can be as low as 10%. When writing articles or short stories, the writing time increases to, probably, more than 60%.

For me, a writer needs to spend at least half their time reading, a quarter researching and a quarter writing.

The reading will include books and articles in your chosen field as well as things outside your field. The researching may be more or less depending on what you write, or what you are writing at the time. For technical non-fiction books, the time spent in research will be greater than if you are writing an autobiography.

For me, the important part is that a writer spends half their time reading. But it's a personal preference.

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