Simple ways to be a better reader: nine tips to read in a more inspired way

Simple ways to be a better reader: nine tips to read in a more inspired way

At the top of my to-do list of New Year’s Resolutions: read more. And not just read more. Read better.

Read to be inspired. Read for escape and imagination, yes, but also read in order to grow as a writer myself. Read to pick apart sentences and wonder how did she do that? when I come across a passage by a writer that blows me away. Read to make notes on the imagery I fall in love with. Read to remember. Read to challenge myself, to stretch my boundaries of language and metaphor. Read to go beyond myself. Read, not to think glumly: oh, but I could never write like this but instead to wonder: oh, but how can I write like this? What can I do better in my own work to meet this sort of greatness?

Read actively, not passively.

In other words: read like a writer.

Morning yoga when you're not a morning person

Some days (alright then, most days) it takes me an hour to wake up and get ready in the morning. There; I said it. This is not because of some high-maintenance skin routine or make-up regime or for important fashion choices I must make (ha!). No; it is simply because I am not a morning person.

Lest I sound all too lazy, I’ll throw in here that our mornings start at 6am or thereabouts, ten minutes either side, when our littlest one awakes. You’d think we’d be used to it by now but it’s still an abrupt way to start the day. I remain shell shocked and bleary-eyed every single time my baby’s cries sound a morning alarm. I need a little time to wake up, is all.

Still, my mornings are made more palatable in different ways: a hot shower, a clean flannel, the faint smell of Italian lemons in my cleanser, a cup of piping tea waiting for me made by an ever-patient husband who is much better at handling breakfast time with three five-and-unders than me while the rest of the street is still asleep. And now, added to that mix: a few moments of yoga too.