I'm trying to get back into reading again. Not that I ever stopped reading, but before I was reading two books at a time. Recently, I've been at one book. This was because I was writing a few short stories during time I was supposed to be reading. And I was doing that because I did not want to interrupt writing Mermaid Story.
I found it difficult to jump back to passive reading when I was having so much fun writing. This is the catch-all that writers have to watch out for. If you want to be a writer, you must be a reader. There's no author out there who's doesn't also talk about the books he/she is reading. John Scalzi, Jim C. Hines, Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow are just the names off the top of my head who report on what their reading with regularity. And I've gotten lots of good recommendations from them.
You've really got to spend as much time reading as you do writing, if not more. I don't know why this is, but it is. Like me, you probably want to write more than you want to read. Just like one would rather paint than look at a painting. But you have to look at that painting to A) see how other people do it B) see that it's okay to make mistakes and not always follow the rules and C) get ideas.
You see someone's painted sunflowers, so you probably shouldn't paint sunflowers, because they already did it. But they painted those sunflowers really badly. You could do so much better. If it was you, you'd paint the sunflowers with darker lines and at night and add some people in the background. So maybe you should try to paint some sunflowers. See how they turn out. You don't have to worry about it being original, just do it in a different way.
Labels: books, reading