Y’all should all know by now how horrible I am at giving viable advice (^_^), but if there’s one piece that I will say should not be an option, it is that which states a good writer is a good reader.
The power of consuming the written word of many, many others cannot be overstated.
Books are very easy to fall in love with. So, it stands to reason that a lot of us writers also become pretty avid readers. However, seeing as how both can be very time-consuming, it begs the question, “If I spend all my time reading, how can I ever get around to writing?” Or vice versa.
There’s no hard-and-fast rule for how to balance this shit out. It’s really up to you what you decide to prioritize.
Depending on where you are in your writing process, reading can be a crutch, a helping hand, an inspiration or a distraction.
“But beyond reading for pleasure, a good writer also reads with an eye for the writing. Maybe not all the time, but at least some of the time.”
I truly believe that when I began reading again, my writing improved exponentially. I’ve been writing my whole life, and I’ve grown more in the past 3-4 years than ever because I started reading more.
And I also learned how to pick out what I loved about certain books to apply to my own.
Just because you read a lot will not automatically guarantee you godly writing prowess, though. All reading and no writing makes Jack a… reader – not a writer.
So, understand that writing happens in phases – rough draft, rest, revision, rest, substantive edit, rest, etc. – and so, too, might your reading habits.
When I’m neck-deep in a format edit, I’m not gonna be flying through 5 books a week.
When I’m letting a manuscript rest (aside from likely working on another project), I’m prolly gonna take a weekend and devour a bunch of books I’ve been craving for a while.
It’s all about balance. Don’t you think? :] How do you balance reading with writing?