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Coming to Terms With Your Reading Slump

reading slump

Q: What seems to be the problem?

A: I fell into a reading slump.


Q: Did you burn yourself out by reading four books within two and a half weeks?

A: Probably. Maybe? I don’t know.


Q: What do you think started your reading slump?

A: I drove 16 hours total to the middle of Nebraska and back for the eclipse. I was tired from the driving and I spent my time hanging out with my friend instead of reading.


Q: So, which book were you reading when the slump happened?
A: I was reading Strange Heart Beating by Eli Goldstone.


Q: It must have been a bad book if you didn’t keep reading it.

A: No, it’s a delightful book. I love the prose and the poignant images used.


Q: Ah, it’s literary fiction. Did you fall into a reading slump because you had been reading commercial fiction and then you tried to read boring old literary fiction?

A: No, I love both kinds of fiction. Reading slumps just happen sometimes.


Q: Why didn’t you read when you got back from the trip?

A: I had a lot of work at my day job, which kept me busier than usual and tired me out.


Q: Did traveling to see your best friend affect your reading habits?

A: Yes, definitely. I don’t prioritize reading or writing when I’m hanging out with my best friend because there’s too much to do.


Q: Should you avoid hanging out with your best friend if it means you won’t be reading?
A: Nope. I don’t have to read all the time to be a successful reader, editor, writer, human, etc.


Q: Should you avoid traveling if it means you won’t be reading?
A: Nope. See above.


Q: So if you didn’t read for two weeks…what did you do?

A: I spent more time with my husband and my best friend. I wrote a couple thousand words in a week and published an article on personal finance. I wrote a letter to my little sister. I did some Upwork jobs. I watched some Impractical Jokers episodes, which made me laugh—a lot. I read a lot of r/raisedbynarcissists horror stories, which was strangely comforting.


Q: Okay…but are you a loser for not reading for two weeks?

A: No.


Q: Do you need to go on another reading spurt in September to bounce back from your reading slump?
A: No. I have a lot of editing projects I need to work on, and I’d like to aim for consistency with my writing. I can continue reading at whatever pace I need to.


Q: Are you losing your intelligence by not reading as much as you did before—earlier this summer, in college, when you were 12?

A: No.


Q: Are you even going to read your ARC of Little Fires Everywhere before it’s published???? Are you going to waste that opportunity?????

A: Maybe. If I don’t read the ARC before it officially is released, is it a big deal?


Q: You’re not supposed to ask the questions. Why aren’t you taking advantage of your opportunities?
A: I have a lot of opportunities, and I haven’t prioritized reading this ARC. Whenever I read it, I’m going to make sure I enjoy it and don’t stress myself out trying to read something just to write a review of it.


Q: Oh. Is that why you got in a reading slump in the first place? The pressure of reading and writing book reviews because you want to get into book publishing?

A: Yes, that’s definitely part of it.


Q: Well, how are you going to keep it from happening again?

A: I can’t. Reading isn’t as effective or helpful to me if I force myself to do it when I really, really don’t want to. I try to read each day, but it’s not always going to happen.


Q: Are you okay with that?

A: Yeah, I’m okay with that.