Today’s Writing Tip is an easy one but often forgotten by writers. A big no-no that I’ve been guilty of myself.
Read. And read everything.
If you write fiction then read all kinds of fiction, not just the genre(s) you like to put out yourself. I’ve seen other more established authors talk about this as well. And they are absolutely correct. Read at least one book a month. At LEAST. It’s totally possible, believe me. Leave your book on the bedside table for 15 minutes of reading at night, or leave the book in the living room on the coffee table where you can see it every time you walk by. Heck, leave a book in the bathroom if you are REALLY strapped for time. No excuses.
But I’m too busy writing to read! No, you’re not. You’re reading this blog, aren’t you? Schedule reading time, if you must. It’s in your day somewhere.
I write children’s fantasy and you want me to read a murder mystery? Yes! Why? Because it’s different and keeps your creative juices flowing!
After pumping out three thousand words on my WIP today, you want me to spend MORE time reading someone else’s work?! Of course. Spending all of your literary time lost in your own world can lead to burnout – i.e. block. Take a break from your characters and lose yourself in a new plot. It keeps you fresh.
Plus, the biggest reason to continue reading what you can, when you can, AFTER becoming an author is because you love reading – right? Reading is beautiful. I’ve yet to meet a writer who didn’t like reading, though I suppose that strange creature is out there somewhere, feeling alone and scared in the world. Poor thing.
Again, If you write books, you should read them too. If you don’t want to buy new ones each month – use your Library card. Please tell me you have one, or I’ll panic. Anyway. Pick a different genre each month, or at least shake it up between book series’ so that you don’t get lost in a rut. Just because you love paranormal romance, doesn’t mean it is the ONLY literary diamond out there that will make your heart sparkle. I am not talking about vampires. Stay with me.
For a writer, books feed the soul. And the soul releases all that energy by writing. It’s a cycle, you see…one that runs circles around you smoothly if you keep it well oiled. A writer should be constantly learning about the craft, not sticking to one plan. That’s boring. How is a bored writer going to create anything…well, creative?
Happy reading, everyone!