People Need to Relax to Escape

This week, in lieu of attending How I Write, I will be writing about a writer I admire, James Patterson.  The novels he has written and co-written have sold more than 180 million copies worldwide. In one of the two videos I watched on him for this blog post he said, “people need to relax to escape.” He said this when he was talking a little bit about all the responsibilities people in America are faced with everyday.  I have been overwhelmed this semester with all my responsibilities. Consequently, when he said, “people need to relax to escape” it resonated with me because I don’t think I am relaxing enough, I feel as though I am always engulfed in a strenuous activity.

I enjoy doing a lot of things.  However, reading is one of my favorite pastimes.  In order to enjoy reading, I need to be relaxed, and since I am rarely relaxed during school, I don’t find a lot of time to read.  The most relaxing activity I envision doing in my life is sitting in one of the chairs shown below, with my girlfriend or wife next to me, reading.


Albeit that I enjoy reading, I don’t know how to find the time to read for fun, while still balancing all of my other responsibilities.   Patterson gave me an idea that I can implement in my life to help me incorporate reading in my daily routine.  He said that when his son was 8, he and his wife made him read a novel for 30 minutes to an hour everyday.  That doesn’t seem like a long time at all.  I think I can do that, for at least 5 days out of the week, and I believe doing so will make me a happier person.  Patterson also says that people should, “Do what you love, no matter what.”  I found those words to be extremely powerful, and I think they’ll help me reorganize my priorities in my life.

One of my characteristics that I’d like to continue to develop is my perseverance.  37 publishers turned down Patterson’s first novel, “The Thomas Berryman Number” before it was finally published.  However, the novel won an Edger award, an award given annually by the Mystery Writers of America to the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction television, film, and theatre published or produced within the previous year.  His perseverance didn’t allow him to give up hope, and as a result, he has become one of the best writers in America.  In my “Why I Write” essay I said I wanted to develop more confidence as a writer.  After watching the video on Patterson and reflecting on what he had to say, I think he has the amount of confidence in his writing that I aspire to have in my writing one day.  If you are interested in watching the Patterson videos I watched, the videos can be found below.


2 thoughts to “People Need to Relax to Escape”

  1. I completely agree about relaxing on those chairs! I also feel like it is difficult to relax during school time, even when you try to. During spring break I was able to spend the whole week in South Carolina on the beach, which was incredibly relaxing. Not surprisingly I was able to do a lot of reading whatever I wanted to read. It is hard to get away from school work, but definitely rewarding.

    Good luck on your endevour to read more during the week! I know I try to fit in things I enjoy throughout the week, and when I do get to do them I feel a lot better about the things I have to do for school.

  2. Yeah, you said a mouthful there–I second Eva’s “amen!” (Eva…were you by any chance at Kiawah Island…? That’s my favorite place in the world, and I also get a lot of reading done there…) I also second Patterson’s 30 minutes a day rule. I keep reading just for my own pleasure in a stack on my bedside table, and every night I read a little bit of that before I go to sleep. Right now it’s the _Complete Sherlock Holmes_, which is great because it’s a series of short stories. It helps me maintain my sanity and my will to do other kinds of reading and writing the rest of the day! 🙂

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