In 2015 and 2016, I dismantled my television. I did this because I had screen-addicted kids living with me and it was simply easier to not have a screen then to attempt to implement time allowances and deal with the assured tantrums that would come with enforcing them.
Besides the intended results for the kids, the unexpected result for myself was that I read more. And the more I read, the more inspired I was to write.
After the kids moved out, I did in fact replace the TV but the habit was still there and I kept my own screen time to a bare minimum. Just a few of the shows I enjoy as an occasional escape when they posted new episodes on Netflix or Hulu. It also helped that I had a weekly appointment near a library and took the opportunity to go there every week, my goal to always have a book ready to return and select a new one.
I was also in a monthly writing club that met at a different library. And of course, my Kindle was always charged and went with me where it might be difficult to juggle books.
At any given moment in 2017, I was reading five books at the same time. I was also writing. A lot.
Then I moved. A whole new state and therefore I would have to get a new library card. It was in fact one of the first things I intended to do. But I could not get a library card without a state driver’s license, which I tried to do, but at that time, was unable to proceed till I had more information about my new resident status.
And then there is the problem with my Kindle. Where I live now, it doesn’t connect to download new books, I have to take the Kindle to the city, the literal city, to get new books. I grab them in groups when I can.
So, my access to books became less routine and I found new television shows to fill in the void. This resulted in spending less time writing.
And there in lies the problem. I have books to write. Stories that must leave my head and get on paper so you can enjoy them. Therefore I need to make time to write them. Which means I need to make time to read.
I have created in my new home the perfect writing space with an antique roll top desk from my family. And I have the perfect reading space that looks out my picture window to the willow tree that stands over the pond on my front lawn.
I downloaded four new books on the Kindle and have swapped some paperbacks at the local Little Free Library I found at a nearby park. (I still don’t have a local driver’s license, so that county library card is still out of reach.)
It helps that it’s the off season for all the shows I have on my short “must watch” list.
2019 will be the year that I return to reading. Every night, for at least an hour.
Right after I wrap up the last few episodes of that binge worthy new show I stumbled on a few days ago….