Thursday, June 27, 2019

My Summer Reading/Writing Diet by Dana Mentink

Hi, all. Dana Mentink here. Summer is a special time for an elementary school teacher/writer. As we settle into that nice long break, my summer goal is the same this year as it has been my whole stuff myself with as many books as I can digest! This is a tricky balance since my job is to put words on the page too, not just read them. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

In the morning, I follow up my Bible reading with some devotional time. Isn't it amazing how many incredible devotionals exist? The stack is now teetering on my little table which is filled to capacity with gems! Old classics, modern volumes, and everything in between. I’m working on a C.S. Lewis devotional which taxes my neurons. Then it’s off to writing land! Four thousand words today, Dana, so get to it!

In the afternoon, I aim to push in some non fiction reading. Since I’m working on a proposal for a new four book series set in the desert, it’s time to learn all about all things cactus and scorpion! In addition, I’m part of a continuity series for Love Inspired Suspense that takes place in Queens, so that’s a whole other beast to tackle. I have learned more about the subway system than I ever thought possible! These details are super important and they have to be just right.

I keep the fiction books far away during this part of the day because pleasure reading and word counts don't go together! I've got books to write and deadlines to meet, so I must restrict myself to non fiction in the daylight hours. Such discipline, don't you think? Of course, the car is my loophole. If I must jet out to grocery shop or perhaps to make an emergency trip for coffee, why not listen to a book en route? Currently I'm listening to the P.G. Wodehouse collection. Bertie Wooster and Jeeves just crack me up!

In the evening, it's fiction time. Hooray! I've got a TBR pile of amazing fiction books next to my bed including mysteries, thrillers, sweet romance, romantic suspense, and other books that seem to defy genre labels. It's my favorite time of day to snuggle up and break out the fiction. I'm a traditionalist, so it's paperbacks for me, no ebooks here. (I've been reading more and more about the negative effects of electronic devices on sleep.) I can devour as many chapters as I can manage before the eyelids begin to close.

So what do you think of my summer reading/writing diet? According to my calculations, I should be able to read a couple of books a week at this rate. Of course, if I cut out walking the dog and have the groceries delivered, that would free up time to squeeze in another hour! Acck! Somebody save me!

What's on your TBR pile right now and how to you squeeze in time to read?

Don't Miss Dana’s newest release...Danger on the Ranch

After putting his serial killer brother in prison, former US marshal Mitch Whitehorse chooses a solitary country life—until his brother escapes. Now Mitch’s former sister-in-law, Jane Reyes, needs protection…for herself and the toddler she’s kept a secret. Mitch still isn’t sure of Jane’s innocence in his brother’s crimes, but to keep his nephew out of a killer’s grasp, trusting her is his only option.

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, and a chubby box turtle. You can connect with Dana via her website at, on Facebook, and Instagram (dana_mentink.)


  1. Squeezing in time for reading amidst all the writing I am trying to complete can be difficult at times. As a writer, I must read. I enjoy reading and escaping into great stories. I usually choose short times throughout the day to read. :-)

  2. Because I'm also a freelance editor and work on other author's manuscripts when I'm not writing my own books, reading for fun has become a luxury. I have a goal to tackle my huge TBR pile this summer - because not only will it be enjoyable, it will be good for me!

  3. Dana, I admire your will power. I seem to have none lately. I love reading fiction and do way too much of it. And that causes me to ignore my own writing. I'm determined to get my life on track.

    Your new book sounds great! I'm excited to read it.

    Thanks for the motivating post and for being my guest on Seriously Write!

  4. I am trying to make reading a priority. Writers read and I don’t want to lose my love of reading. So not only do I read at night, I am taking an hour or two to read every afternoon. I love it!

  5. Dana, walk on the treadmill while reading, and put the dog on another treadmill. You've just found time to read more! Lol. I love the way you have this broken down. Very disciplined and straightforward!


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