Don’t Be a Shameless Author Who Can Rarely Make Time to Read Books

Charmd Baker
Dec 31, 2019 · 5 min read

Learn how to read more books in 2020 and venture out of your comfort zone.

Photo by on Unsplash

In order to make time to read books on a more routine basis in 2020, writers and authors will need to set a very specific, and definitive goal.

That means writing it down, posting it somewhere, and keeping your objective firmly embedded in your head. Even though reading more books will be enjoyable and benefit you as a writer, it is still a serious commitment.

Whatever you do, don’t view this as one of those New Year’s resolutions that you make now, and give up on by February.

Writers Must Read

Regardless of the kind of writer you might be, the reality is, writers MUST read, in order to become better writers. This is especially the case if you happen to be a published author, or you hope to become one someday.

Whether you self-publish, or you plan to use traditional publishing, you still need to grow and enhance your craft. The world of self publishing has made the book writing field a lot more crowded, so quality is very important, even with short works of fiction.

According to a recent article that touches on 2020 self publishing trends, “…writing and publishing short stories have become sensible alternatives to laboring for months (and even years) on one novel.”

A writer’s only chance of succeeding in this ever-growing field is to keep sharpening and perfecting their own skills. That amounts to reading and staying abreast of what’s out there, whether it is your competition, or merely a new and innovative style that you might want to give a try.

Writing Comfort Zone

Let’s face it, every writer and author has their comfort zone when it comes to what they’re best at writing. But is that any reason to stay content in a little cubbyhole; afraid to venture out and try something different?

The answer is no, not if you ever want to stretch your wings and discover the full extent of your own creativity. Just because you’re good at one thing doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy and be good at something else.

The point is, you’ll never even have to confront that question, if you don’t make time to read more books and check out what other authors have to say. You’ll want to come out of your writing comfort zone when you start reading and getting exposed to more books, and different kinds of books.

Common Reading Issues

Why, in particular, do you desire to do more reading in 2020? Are you motivated by a need to stop ALWAYS reading the same kind of material? For instance, I’m a longtime blogger and non-fiction writer, so much of the material I’ve self- published consists of non-fiction ebooks.

It’s probably no coincidence that I love to read non-fiction articles and self-help books, similar to my own non-fiction categories and titles.

Ironically, I have just the opposite problem, when it comes to reading fiction. It’s bad business to be a novelist who fails to make time to read books similar to those you write. This is really a huge mistake.

When I became a new fiction author, I failed to try and read more books, and become acquainted with the works of similar fiction authors in my genre. But once I started exposing myself to similar authors, I began to notice and learn more about writing good fiction.

Believe it or not, one of my initial concerns about reading more fiction books, used to be that I worried it would somehow contaminate my thought process. I didn’t want to accidentally be influenced by someone else’s ideas, especially if I was working on a manuscript of my own.

But I’ve come to realize that If you’re a smart writer, you can figure out how to read works of fiction similar to yours, without it becoming a problem. Besides, for the most part, when it comes to writing, there is very little that is actually new under the sun, but you can always put your own twist on things.

Deciding What to Read

In all honesty, I sometimes suspect that envy has also played a role in my failure to read more books written by other fiction authors.

One of the hardest things for me to admit to myself is that I sometimes get envious of other authors who have reached a certain degree of success, especially if I consider myself an equal or better writer than they are.

I know it sounds ugly, but it’s true. This is another one of those issues that authors don’t always like to talk about. But the good part is, I’m aware of this flaw in myself, and this year, I aim to do something about it.

What about you? What makes you want to read more books in 2020 and what do you plan to do about it? Whether you’re just itching to read a newly released fantasy title that you’ve been hearing about, or you’re anxious to check out some suggested non-fiction titles that you didn’t get a chance to read in 2019, start making a greater effort to read more books this year.

Making a Reading Commitment

Begin your commitment to reading more in 2020 by writing down the name of the first title you want to start on, and posting it where it is visible. This will keep it on your mind until you actually obtain a copy of the book. When you get it, commit to finish reading it by a specific deadline. That’s all there is to it.

After that, just wash, rinse, and repeat the process; in other words, do it again and again, for book after book. This will keep you motivated to continue reading more books throughout the year.

Whatever you do, don’t view this as one of those New Year’s resolutions that you make now, and give up on by February. Be determined to be in it for the long haul.

Even though you’ll be reading as a way of helping you become a better writer and author, take time to ENJOY yourself this year when you find that you have finally begun to read more books.


  • Schedule as little as 15 minutes to read, first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
  • Always take reading material with you, no matter where you go when you leave the house.
  • Take advantage of downtime and read when standing in lines, or waiting for hair, dentist, doctor appointments and more.
  • Use commuting time on the bus, train, or subway, to take advantage of reading more.
  • Take the first few minutes before starting or ending your lunch break at school or work, and do a little reading.
  • Join a book club targeted to your favorite genre, or better yet, why not start your own book club?

Charmd Baker

Written by

Hello — I’m an L.A. based writer and self-published author [novels and ebooks]. I love it here! The more I read, the more I write! Follow me and do the same.

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