Writers and Reading

Hi everyone!

Today I went to Starbucks and did something I haven’t done in what feels like a really long time: I read a novel.

Image Source - Google Images
Image Source – Google Images

I don’t think I’ve said it yet in my blog, but Starbucks is my favorite place to go to work on my stories!  For some reason I seem to have a hard time focusing on writing when I’m at home, but when I’m there, I somehow become more focused on writing.

Also lately I have been studying for an IT certification I need for my current day-job.  Between these two items, where has that left my pleasure reading?  Non-existent.

For someone who’s been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, that realization kind of startled me.  The last time I just read for pleasure was when I was waiting for my flight at the airport a couple of month ago.  Insane!

So it made me realize something, and I want to pass this revelation (perhaps words of wisdom?) on to fellow writers and, for that matter, everyone: take the time to read.  Make the time to read!

For anyone, writer or not, if you enjoy reading, do what you can to find time, even if it’s just fifteen minutes, to read!  Many of you may be doing that now: reading blog articles could be what refuels you.

It is so easy to let the craziness of life take control, and you might start to miss out on your favorite ‘past-times.’

Reading Fuels Writing

For writers specifically, I believe this to be essential!  I can’t speak for all writers, but for me I find a lot of inspiration in written work.  Movies, music, and other media too, but being someone who creates stories out of words, reading is one of my fuel sources!

Image Source - http://cdn.sheknows.com
Image Source – http://cdn.sheknows.com

Reading other writers’ works can give you ideas on how to change or improve your own writing style, it can give you ideas on characters, settings, details.  Reading novels is, in a way, like reading a how-to book.  You should never copy another writer’s style, but you can learn from it, and take what you like from it, and morph it into your existing style.  Essentially, make it your own!

Let your imagination run wild by reading stories that you haven’t told!  Especially if you are stuck on a part in your story and don’t know how to get by it.  In fact, let me re-type that in bold:

If you are stuck with your story, put it down for a while and read someone else’s story!

I have found this helps me a lot in the past.  Even if what I’m reading doesn’t provide me with a method of getting past that part of my own story, it relaxes me.  When it comes to writing, I do my best work when I’m not stressed out!

So do yourself a favor: take time off to just read.  And remember, when you’re reading another author’s novel, you’re supporting them.  Maybe someday they’ll be able to return the favor for you :)

-Jon

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