One of the very few good things about my enforced period off work has been having all kinds of time to read. Reading is good for the sufferer of CFS/ME for a number of reasons:
• It takes you out of yourself. Which is important when your present situation feels fairly crap.
• It doesn’t use up a lot of energy. Which is important when you scarcely have the energy to get to the shops and back.
• You can do it lying down. Which is important when your legs feel like they’re made out of reinforced steel.
• You can get inspiration. Which is handy when you’re trying to write a book.
In reading 160 books (and counting) in my absence from the day job, I’ve been picking up a ton of pointers about description, characterisation, but mainly about structure. Structure-wise, my first draft was very this happened, then this, then this; in the second draft I’m trying to move around in time more.
My love of reading has been a huge part of my recovery, and fingers crossed it will enrich and inform what I write.