I’ve always loved to read. My nose was constantly stuck in a book, even when I was supposed to be doing other things (usually sleeping). But when I started getting serious about writing, I pretty much stopped reading. It’s not something I consciously decided, it just gradually happened. I think part of it was that my mind was always in edit mode, which sucked the fun out of reading; so I gradually turned to other ways to enjoy stories (my beloved boob tube), where I could give that part of my brain a break.
The irony is I should now be reading more than ever. That’s the one standard piece of advice most authors give to newbies: read a lot both within and outside of your genre.
So I’m resolving here and now to do better – I’m going to Read-n-Feed. I’ll read more books to feed the monster in me always hungry for stories. And I’ll think about what I’ve read to nourish the writing beast in me always hungry for more knowledge. And to keep myself accountable, I’m going to report back here on the blog. I’ll share what I’ve learned from reading a particular book that I can apply to my own writing. It might be a new technique or a superb example that serves as a reminder of a tried-and-true rule or maybe even a ‘what not to do’ lesson. Hopefully these “key takeaways” (forgive me, I spent ten years in corporate software development!) will strengthen my writing and be helpful to any other writers who stop by.
So how do other writers out there Read-n-Feed? Do you analyze as you go? Or are you able to turn off the writer side of your brain and just enjoy the ride? If so, do you later think about what did and didn’t work?