Saturday, May 5, 2012

Why you should read when you're a writer

Obviously, everyone has their own process, and you do what works for you. But I think reading while you're writing is important. Especially if you're stuck. Not because you're looking for someone else's story to claim as your own--that is of course, plagiarism and bad. But writing is a slow process, and when you're examining it pixel by pixel, you can lose sight of what the whole thing is supposed to look like. Reading a book speeded up to a normal story pace can help you find that perspective again, and remember what it's supposed to look like. Not only that, you can see how other authors handle different issues--even when the story is completely different than your own.

The last thing that reading seems to address, especially when you're not feeling the love, is that it opens your emotions. When you're fully engaged in a book, when you're immersed in a story, you let yourself feel more. And when you do, you think of the things that you most want to write about. You want to open up your character and make them bleed a little, you want to feel their heartache, you want to push their triumphs just a bit more. And even when your book is something completely different, that excitement, that feeling--it makes you want to write your own book, and write it better than before.

That's what reading does for me, anyway.