Updated: Apr 6
Wanting to read or write but don't know where to start? Maybe you've had bad experiences with books forced on you in high school so now you've completely shut out reading. Maybe you think, "I have no time for reading."
I felt compelled to write about the truth of getting back into reading or writing. I remember being in love with literature and English classes back in middle school and high school, but by the end of my junior year it seemed my love died out. We were forced to read these books that couldn't keep me interested for more than two minutes. High school came around and let's be honest, it's a fucking weird time for everyone. You're trying to figure yourself out, figure your group out, all while going in and out of hobbies and habits. Reading and writing for fun wasn't the "popular" thing and I was too busy on social media or my phone to give it the time of day.
I started college and suddenly I was surrounded by people who actually WANT to learn. We pay big money to attend classes and you can FINALLY take classes on what you give a shit about. Being surrounded by people who were passionate about learning and actually tried was refreshing and it lit these lost embers inside of me.
I kept up a lot more with writing than reading during my high school time but I always told myself "I will write a book." If someone asked, "what's one thing you want to do," my answer was that. Well, I had a reality check when I realized I don't read enough to write nor do I even write enough to write a freaking book.
It didn't stop me though. It wasn't like I failed; it was more like I knew I had a long road ahead. I signed up for English classes in college and BOOM, my first tip on how to get back into reading and writing; sign up for classes where you have to do it. The awesome thing about a lot of universities is they have specific topics in their English classes, like books written by women only, or Shakespearen work, or SCI-FI. You can pick classes covering books or topics you're responsive to.
I can't explain the annoyance and boredom when I'm forced to read some novel I don't enjoy. I mean you might as well stick me in a 4-cornered, white-walled room and leave me there forever. That being said, pick a novel out that genuinely interests you. It's supposed to be fun and enjoyable and that means finding things you like.
What got me reading again and on my own time was the movie After. I loved this movie so much (I'm a sappy romantic) and it pulled me in and didn't let me go. I bought the series, read it, and from reading this novel I couldn't stop. I felt this void once I finished like someone died and I replaced it with another series and another. SO, find a show you like and chances are high that it started off as a book series first. Find the books and read it, because I'm telling you they let you live more with these characters you love on screen PLUS there's always 10x more in the books.
If you think you don't have time to start a hobby, think again. You can make excuses for days but be truthful to yourself. Unless you're a mom with 2 infants and 5 toddlers, you can make time for yourself. Let's be real, we need time for ourselves, time to unwind and be something other than a working robot. I started reading at night, an hour before bed. Then when a series drew me in, I started reading on my lunch breaks or I woke up in the mornings and did it.
Don't feel like you have a pick the thickest book on the shelf at first and read it. Start with maybe small short stories or poetry books, no matter your reading level. When you find your niche, then go read books you can spend more time on. Same goes for writing; don't feel like you have to write a whole book in two weeks. Start with writing short stories, blog posts, book reviews, and just that gets those creative juices flowing for more.
I read before that it only takes 21 days for something to become a habit and that's true for everything good and bad. Make it a habit to do something to indulge your mind, something that makes those gears grind in your head, something that gets you thinking. It's a struggle to get back into reading and writing, but it's worth it.
Thanks for reading everyone! I'll link my Insta page which has short reviews and cute quotes.