I took a little reading break to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month’s June younger sibling) where I managed to get a 50,000 word very rough draft of a fantasy novel completed in the 30 days. It’s a nerve wracking ball of fun every time I do anything related to NaNo. But my reading suffers when I’m doing it. In fact, I’m realizing that even when I’m writing, or editing, during a non-NaNo month my reading suffers. I can’t seem to concentrate on enjoying someone else’s work while trying to get mine off the ground (or clean up the mess I made). And that’s especially true if the novel I’m ready to read is in the same genre as the one I’m currently working on. For one, I tend to psych myself out with thinking “I’ll never write anything this good” (insert flop of defeat onto the couch). And for two, I start worrying that I’ll unintentionally borrow something from the novel I’m reading. There’s also the possibility that I’m not concentrating on one enough and will miss important plot points in some novel or get sidetracked by the novel and slack on my work. This resulted in me pretty much giving up reading anything more complicated that 140 character tweets and some G+ and facebook updates last month.
Although I’ve never really thought of myself as a normal person, even this inability to multi task has me wondering how alone out in my own field I am. Does anyone else have issues reading for pleasure while they are writing? Do you just give up on it? Or does reading something in a completely different genre work for you? Do you schedule time for each one? Or am I just weird, and need to suck it up and figure out how to do both at the same time?