Feb 4, 2009


by Marielle Carlisle

I’ve got a dilemma.

My favorite thing to do is read, and that is an understatement. I am CONSTANTLY reading. I’ve been this way since, well, forever. And I don’t read books that make me smarter. Strictly fiction, preferably JUV fantasy. It’s so satisfying to read a good book at the end of another crazy day filled with chasing around a two year old and carrying a 7 month old.

So what’s my problem?

My exploration into this realm of writing is new for me. I’ve only recently tried writing children’s stories, and found I truly enjoy it. But the only time I can write is at the end of my crazy days filled with chasing around a two year old and carrying a 7 month old.

The kids are in bed by 7:30. I have until 10pm to fall asleep if I want to be a caring, loving, patient mother the next day, considering the baby has yet to sleep completely through the night AND he wakes up around 5:30 am FOR THE DAY.

Something has to give.

My time is precious.

I want to read! I love reading! Right now I’m reading this:

And it has me on the edge of my seat!

But I want to write!

What do I do?

Do I read a little, then write, or write first and then read?

Or do I forgo my sleep, and stay up late?

In my heart, I know I must put the book aside and write.

And that breaks my heart.


  1. Since reading helps your writing, I'd read, but that's me. There are seasons in our lives for reading and writing.

  2. I don't know that there is a hard and fast rule. If I know that what I'm reading is so riveting, I won't be able to put it down, I generally try to write a little first - even if it's just a paragraph. But, sometimes, I'm so distracted thinking of what I want to be reading, that I don't accomplish anything. Your call!! (And the answer will probably change from day to day.)

  3. My sister told me once that when she hears people say they don't have time to read, she thinks, Do you breathe? You make time for that." I'm sure we all agree that reading is as vital to our lives as breathing, so it's a matter of making time.

    Steal those snippets of time during the day to read, like while feeding the baby, etc. then write at night and if you do, your reward to yourself can be to read a little more before you drop off to sleep!

  4. Now, I don't know that this is hard and fast, but I did hear that before trying to write juvenile fiction, one should read two hundred works of juvenile fiction. What am I saying? Of course this isn't hard and fast. I wrote the draft of my first juv. novel before seeing that quote. Now I'm working backwards.

    I guess I'm saying you can count your reading as "research," right?

  5. Hmmmm...I think it is a question only you can answer. There is a time and season for everything. I also like the suggestion of reading here and there during the day, but if you are like me...I don't dare pick up a book unless I know I can spend some time with it. I get too involved in the story and forget time. REading is important to your writing...I so go with the flow...ponder on it, ask Heavenly Father about it. You'll figure it oute


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