Why reading and writing are essential to (my) sanity

Scary statistics

I was recently shocked to discover a vast portion of the first world don’t read a book – ONE BOOK – every year.  70% in the last five years… I’m absolutely amazed about this.
Given there are these 11 facts about why reading is important, and the recent psychological studies (and one from 2012) suggest that writing is not only good for you, but has a serious impact on brain chemistry, and I’m a bit terrified that the world has been taken over by pop culture nothings, reality TV and no reading.

Reading 101

One of the things I do have to say about reading is that recently, when I gave myself a concussion at work, I found it very difficult to read.  So I spent four or five weeks just *not reading*.  Now, getting back into it and I’ve found I’ve built up a ‘resistance’.  That is, I look at my Kindle as a gaming device and I think many people struggle with the same thing.   But, given I was reading a book a week before the accident (commuting has it’s upsides), I’m not feeling too bad about only slightly missing my reading goal on Goodreads last year (though, I forgot to actually keep track on Goodreads).  This year, I’m pledging to read 104 books (and try and kill off some of my TBR).  I may or may not review.

Neil Gaiman quote, Createspace

 

Writing 102

As I’ve already mentioned earlier in the week, I’m doing a bit of an accountability thing, where I share my word counts, goals and publications.  Well, most of them.  Some I won’t be able to because part of my writing time this year is going to be taken up by ghostwriting again.  I’ll count them as publications (and in points, so short stories are worth a tenth of a novel) but I won’t actually list what they are unless it’s a major release of my own.  If it’s ghostwritten, which a lot of the first half of this year is going to be, it’ll just count towards my numbers, but I won’t be able to share the names of the books.  It’s been a tough road this last year, but I’m hoping with a bit of professionalism and a lot of hard work, I can pull myself up and start enjoying my writing again.  To do that, I need to use some of my writing time to pay bills 🙂

But ultimately, reading and writing, for me at least, go hand in hand.

What about you?  Do you get itchy if you don’t read?  Don’t write?