Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Read, Read, Read

We're writers.  We read.
Sometimes too much writing can exhaust our creativity. The well just seems to dry up and writing becomes difficult.  Even painful.  The best thing a writer can do to refill that well of creativity is to read.  It doesn't matter what's read.  In fact, reading outside of a writer's chosen genre or something completely different such as non-fiction or even poetry does the trick for many writers.

Writers have always been readers first, beginning with picture books in childhood, then stepping up to simple words on a page, followed by short chapter books and finally to those real books that have no pictures, just page after page of story.  Once we've moved on to the next tier, we forget how exciting it was to take that step up.  Think back to the books you read as a child.  If possible, take it one step farther and get a copy, maybe from the library or one you can keep for yourself.  Try a book you read later in grade school, one of those short chapter books.  Remember again the joy of reading that led to wanting to create something that others might enjoy as much as we enjoyed those books from our past.

Refill that well.  Try a new author.  There are new ones popping up every day.  It only takes a short trip to Amazon or Barnes & Noble or any online bookstore to find someone or something that might fit the bill.  Or try a trip to the library.  If you're not sure exactly what it is you're looking for or nothing catches your fancy, try the new book of a favorite author, or even re-read an older story. 

Too often when we write we forget that we were once readers.  I know I don't read as much as I'd like to or even as much as I did a few years ago.  Lucky for me, one of my favorite authors comes out with a new book about every year.  That new book becomes the carrot on the stick, keeping me on target and tempting me to make my goals or even to meet a contract deadline.  Reading that book is my reward.  And often that one book will lead me to another.  I'll try a new author and discover more magic.

We're writers, we read.  What are you reading?


Penny Rader said...

Hi Rox! If I don't get time to read I just don't feel...right. Or write. LOL.

Right now I'm reading Black Hills by Nora Roberts (for fun), Story by Robert McKee (for craft), and Animals Make Us Human by Temple Grandin (for research).

Mad Romance Writer aka Rox Delaney said...

Very good, Penny!

Right now, I'm reading... An old manuscript? LOL Truthfully I haven't been reading all that much, but I am in the middle of Georgette Heyer's The Grand Sophy and hope to get back to it tonight.

Thanks for stopping by!