READ, READ, READ and READ some more!As a writer reading is very important. I used to think that I couldn't read and write at the same time and so I was usually only doing one or the other for an extended amount of time. I have since learned that I need to make sure I am trying to do both. For one I miss the other when I am working on one. For two; how can I create books without reading them? Reading and writing go hand in hand. Below are the reasons why you should always Read, even while writing.
WHY READ? Because it will help you grow as a writer!
In your Genre:
Every Genre has different rules, and story beats that readers expect. Without reading in your genre it will be hard for you to know all of those beats and structure that readers expect for that specific genre. Also you can learn what kind of stories are already out there. Sometime a book can help you figure out where you are stuck in your story. And its fun to read the genre that you love so much! I am a multi genre author and I used to think that all stories were created equal, that a suspense, a fantasy and a romance were all created the same way. Then I started learning about story beats and wow there is a difference my friends.
Out of your Genre:
These books can help increase your story sense. They can build your idea of story worlds and open your eyes to new genre's you never thought you would love! I used to only read fantasy and fairy tale, but then I read some paranormal, Regency romance and then contemporary romance. I would never have tried these genre's in the past but now I have learned how much I love all of these different kinds of stories. This broden's your horizons, opens up new possibilities, and opens new stories worlds for you to venture into. You can also learn what you don't like and why.
There is always so much more to learn. After reading many writing books you will discover that a lot of them say the same thing but usually there is always something new in each one. It is great review for the things they say the same and they all have great ah ha moments for the new stuff. I am trying hard to read a bunch this year. I have 5 under my belt since January but I would like to get a few more. Learning and growing your skill is invaluable and sooooo important.
It is important to know what is being published right now. The demand for certain books ebbs and flows like a title wave. The demand for certain books grows until the market is saturated and then publishers and readers are looking for the next best thing. If you are ready to send out a book to an agent or publisher it would be wise to see what is coming out right now or on the coming out soon lists.
Read the classic's. We don't write books like they used to and that is mostly a good thing, we don't like pages and pages of description but try to figure out why the classic's are still read today. What makes them lasting, and how can you translate that aspect into your own writing. I know when I decided that I wanted to write a book with vampires that I had to read Dracula, its just one of those things that have to be done. Still working on that book but hopefully it won't be to long before I can get it written the way I want it.
Read to your kids:
Kids love it when parents read to them. You can totally count a novel read to them as a book read on your own goals. I am loving reading , Ella Enchanted to my oldest girl. We can only read a chapter or s scene a night but its awesome one on one time and the time might be shortchanged but it totally counts.
Your own writing:
After writing your manuscript make sure to try and read it at least once as a reader. See if you are board anywhere or if there is a part that makes you swoon or laugh or cry. Pay attention to how it reads and if it feels like the books that you enjoy so much. If so you are on the right track.
Reading is so important, I hope that you can find time to read even if it is a little bit. If you are having a hard time finding time check out my tips below.
TIPS FOR THOSE WHO DON'T HAVE MUCH TIME TO READ!
1. Read on your phone
2. Read while your kids are watching their favorite movie for the 27th time.
3. Always have a book with you for those times when you randomly need to pass the time.
4. Read in the pick up line, while waiting for the doctor or dentist or other appointments.
5. Go pick up your kids fifteen minutes early so you can get a little reading time.
6. Read while cooking dinner. (I do this all the time! Yes, I have used a hot pad as a bookmark, ha ha)
7. Plan a reading date night with your hubby or boyfriend/girlfriend.
8. Read in the car (if you can handle it. I read and write in the car on longer drives all the time.)
9. Get audio books and listen while doing other house chores, running, showering, or commuting to work.
10. Make a reading goal for the year on goodreads. It so helps to have a place to keep track of the books you've read and the ones you want to read next. I find having a goal on goodreads keeps me picking up books, I don't like seeing myself behind on my reading goals.
11. Read before you go to sleep at night.
12. If you write middle-grade, YA, poems, or picture books and they are appropriate for your kids age groups then read them to your kids. It's good time spent with them and you get your reading in too.
PLEASE REVIEW: If you read a book and liked it please write a review on amazon, goodreads, etc. authors need reviews and we would love to have a review from a reader like you!
Cassie M. Shiels.