Reading, A Valuable Tool for Writers

Hey everyone! I hope you’re having a fantastic Monday. Today I’m guest blogging at Kinley Baker’s! I’m talking about making a plan as well as my new release Jungle Heat. Stop on over when you have the chance!

First posted June 26, 2011 at The Speculative Salon.

I’m sure we’ve all read an interview with a talented author and skimmed down to the bottom where she gives tips for aspiring authors. Advice from one of the best? Heck yeah, I’m taking it! But then, what you see is that writers should write, write, write and read, read, read. Hmm… Not what was necessarily expected. Writing, that’s an obvious one. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. But what about reading?

Reading is a good way to take in what other authors have done craft and story-wise and see what worked and what didn’t work for them. I’ve always enjoyed reading, but I didn’t give it much time. I had other things to do… like write, socialize, watch TV, etc!

Last year, I challenged myself to read more and stick to my goal. Happily, I did! At the beginning of the year, I found it was easier to read a book without looking too deeply at the writing craft, but as the year progressed, it was easier to see what the writer did well or not and how I could improve myself even more.

Basically, when you’re sitting there slaving away on honing your craft by writing your next book and reading a ton of writer’s reference books — you are, right? — give yourself permission to step back and go read. Aside from being fun, you might find your writing skill improving!

Stephen King said in his book On Writing, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

If you have been reading, do you think it’s helped? If you haven’t, what’s stopping you?

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