Sometimes it’s hard to take time for reading. A lot of the time, I feel I should be accomplishing something. That if I’m not working, I’m just being lazy. That’s a dangerous attitude.
Taking time for fun is necessary self-care, and if we’re feeling uncreative, reading is one of the best choices for fun. Let’s look at some of the reasons why:
1: Reading for Relaxation
We all need to relax sometimes. If we don’t, bad things happen. We don’t sleep as well, we can’t focus as well, and then our immune system can get weaker. If that last one happens we can really be in trouble. Nothing like a flu bug to stop you in your tracks. Curling up with a good book can help prevent all that. It’s not a cure-all, of course, but it’s any easy thing to try.
2: Getting New Ideas
Being creative is hard when you don’t know what to create. Reading is a great source of ideas. If you own name it, or even just imagine it, it’s probably in a book somewhere. The trick is to start combining ideas from different sources. For example, you might read about an invention in one book, an odd law in another, and an ancient culture in a third. The combination could lead to a new story or picture.
3: The Importance of Empathy
This may seem like a strange benefit to creativity, but I think it’s an important factor. In some studies, reading was to improve our empathy. When we put ourselves in other people’s shoes it broadens our horizons. We see that other people have different ways of approaching problems. That gives us more options when we need to find solutions. It lets us see the world from a different perspective. That can lead to new characters, new images, even new ways to think about fashion and construction. A quick example: If you can put yourself in the position of someone who’s paralyzed, you might think differently about how clothing is designed.
With all these benefits, we can hardly afford not to read. So what are you going to read next?