Why reading is good for you

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.

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