One of the biggest recommendations for aspiring writers is to read in their genre – a lot. This is great news, right? Because if you love writing romance chances are reading romance brought you to your passion.

However, all that reading takes time away from writing. And if you’re trying to get published, complete a manuscript, and you’re trying to hold down a day job and take care of all your other responsibilities – reading can feel like wasted time.

So How Much Romance Should You Read?

As an aspiring romance writer, reading romance helps you learn. It helps you explore different plotting scenarios. It helps you learn and master your own voice and style. And it helps keep you in touch with your genre and how it’s changing. Reading romance is a must for any aspiring or even a published romance writer.

The best advice is to make reading part of your every day life. Writing is your priority so write during your most productive hours. For me, that’s first thing in the morning. By 1:00 in the afternoon, my brain takes a nap. Creative thoughts stop flowing and don’t return until late evening.

That’s when I pick up a book. Every night, before you go to bed or in lieu of watching television, read. I generally read anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes a night. Sometimes, if there’s nothing good on television that can be a couple of hours.

Scheduling your reading time and making it a daily habit won’t interfere with your priorities – namely writing your romance novel and the rest of your daily life. It’s a nice way to end the day.