This week on Thinking Thursday we will be exploring reader’s block.
In the most case reader’s block is similar to writer’s block, only that you can’t find yourself to focus on reading or don’t know what to read versus not knowing what to write. I personally don’t have this problem because – to be perfectly honest – I don’t like reading. I read for research for my books, and there are rare occasions where I read for pleasure but most of the time I don’t like reading. I’ll listen to a audio book or flip through a comic before curling up on a couch to read anything. The exception to that is Mitch Albom… his books are the only one’s I have enjoyed taking the time to read.
Maybe my whole life is a reader’s block.
Back in elementary school I read because I had to. My teachers expected it, my parents expected it. So, reading for me was always forced. When I started writing though, I got the opposite reaction from people telling me not to waste my time as it won’t take me anywhere… and so I latched on. There’s a famous saying that says, “If you can’t find the book you want to read, write it”. So, that’s just what I did.
There have been times in my life where I had to read something and just couldn’t motivate myself to do it.
Those were mostly books I had to read for assignments or projects, which I wouldn’t have taken the time to read otherwise. Maybe the reason I had reader’s block was because of the pressure to read, and maybe the reason I hate reading was due to the pressure to read.
I know the world says to become a better writer you must become a dedicated readers.
I respect that but I don’t believe that is the only way. My talents came from practice. I spend every day writing and re-writing. The dictionary and that annoying red line on Microsoft Word taught me how to spell. Listening to educated professional on podcasts or documentary taught me how to develop my structure. Playing video games taught me how to develop my characters, build worlds, and write dialogue. In a time such as this, there are more options to learn from than back in the time of Mark Twain or Virginia Wolf. With technology at our finger tips books aren’t the only way to improve your writing.
So, to answer the question – have you ever gotten reader’s block? Yes, I have but it doesn’t have the same effect on me like it did back in grade school.