Reading and writing should be a time for relaxation and creative flow. We can never fully enjoy our time if we are in a chaotic setting, or if we are waiting on something, like the boarding of a plane, for instance. If half of our mind has to be still focused on what time it is or if the people around us are talking to us, then we cannot truly abandon ourselves to the literary task at hand.
For your own sanity and enjoyment, I urge you to create a space that is both comforting and calming. Pull up your favorite comfy chair, wrap yourself in a blanket, make a cup of tea, put on some soft music, and then enter into your favorite place; the world of words and stories.
For writing especially, the creative mind cannot work well if its attention is divided. If words aren’t coming, even in this peaceful environment, just sit back and let your mind stew. There is nothing worse for writers block than putting pressure on yourself. You are only stifling yourself. Allow yourself to relax and let your mind wander. It might wander right on to the perfect path.
I find that a great atmosphere greatly improves my reading enjoyment. In the past I have used reading to kill some time before going somewhere, and it is like torture (literary torture, of course)! Keeping one eye on the clock while reading is not fun, and then either you end up not even grasping what you had just read for the last 20 minutes, or you get so absorbed in your book that you are then late. I think it is best to just avoid that situation all together.
There are few things I find more relaxing than knowing that I have a large amount of time to have a good, long read. During these few times that I consider real treats, I strive to put away all technology and other thoughts about my real life, so that I can just enjoy my book and the smell of the nice candle burning on the end table.
You owe it to yourself. You are great, and you deserve to take some time just to focus only on what you love. I think we would all love to sit at home and read all day every day, so why not treat yourself once and awhile. Your heightened sense of creativity and enjoyment will thank you.
What is your favorite way to get the most out of your literary time?