Hi everyone –
Recently, deep in the heart of our Blog Castle, seated around the gargantuan library, the writers of the Castles & Guns blog discussed the focus of the blog. Were we blogging for writers or readers?
(Nice castle huh? :) It's actually my picture from my son's choir trip last year. It's Mont St. Michel in France. You should go someday! Super cool! Okay back to the story... )
One of our wise leaders (aka Sarah) stood and declared that we should be appealing to both camps, and besides, writers also read…
This led me back to a recent conversation I had with a fellow writer while we walked through the darkened forest. (aka the well-lit track at the local high school) We were chatting about how important it is to make time to read even when you’re working on writing your own novel. Too often I’ve heard writers admit they no longer had time to read. *gasp*
In the immortal words of Stephen King -- 'If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.'
But why? What tools do you gain by reading?
I think it’s different for everyone.
I know that I try to read some things out of my genre just to keep my brain working in another direction, but mostly I read within my genre because I want to know what is happening within my writing community. What’s selling, and what’s not, is super important when you need to sell your book. You need to let the publisher know you understand how to market your work.
And on a creative level, I find that when I don’t make time to back away from the keyboard and read, that I start repeating myself in my writing. I don’t stretch and try something new, or I forget to bring out all the senses. When I’m reading, I notice techniques I really like and it encourages me to get creative with my own work. Maybe a reminder about dialog tags, or using emotion...
Sometimes you also find things in someone else’s book that doesn’t work for you as a reader and you can make a mental note not to let your writing wander down that path.
Reading let’s your imagination engage in a way that it can’t while you write, and if you cut off that escape I think it can really hamper your writing. Stephen King, Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs and many other best-selling authors read daily. Most of them even have a section on their website or blog to post books they enjoyed.
So I’m curious… If you’re a writer reading this blog… Do you still make time to read even if it’s just an hour a day?
And if you’re a reader, do you find it interesting to see what your favorite authors are reading? (I love checking up on Charlaine Harris’ blog! I’ve found lots of great books there… http://charlaineharris.com/bb/bb_current.html )
Last thing… If you are reading, share your favorite recent reads! I love chatting up books! LOL
Thanks for stopping by!
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