Saturday, June 25, 2011

Reading and Writing (But Definitely NO Arithmetic)

Last year I read 132 books. This year I set a goal to read 200; sadly, I will not reach it. So far I'm sitting at 42 books read for the year. It is a sacrifice, but one I am happy to make because I have been pouring my heart into my writing since last October. Thankfully, I have a lot to show for it.

I miss reading several books a week, but I always make sure I have some time to read. I find I am not only more motivated to write more after reading, but I also write better. I know we as writers learn a lot through osmosis. I study one of my favorite author's voice, another's use of dialogue or sentence structure, and maybe another one's prose. 

It took awhile, but I can finally study an author's writing while reading. It may take me a bit longer, but I always learn something, even if the story wasn't one I particularly enjoyed. I explore the things I liked and didn't like about the story, and more importantly why I did/didn't like it.

Sometimes if I'm stuck and the words just aren't flowing, I will use reading as a warm up for my writing session. Beautiful words always seem to rouse the muse. How about you? Do you find you write better after you read? What warm up methods do you use?


  1. "I find I am not only more motivated to write more after reading, but I also write better."

    Us too! Absolutely. (In fact, Kristan is wondering if she's struggling with her writing lately b/c she's stuck on her reading too...)

  2. I read in the morning and write in the afternoon, so yes I do do think that reading helps me write. I usually don't need much motivation though. I love writing and would probably write all day long if life didn't get in the way. But I do think all the reading I do makes me a better writer. You can learn so much from great authors. It's my favorite way to research the craft. :)

  3. I know what you mean. It helps me so much =)

    And yes! There is no better way to research writing than to read from those who have mastered it.

  4. Whoa! That is a ton of books. I'm lucky if I finish a book a week, especially when I'm writing. I do read pretty slowly though.

    I absolutely think reading improves your writing. Not only that, but it reminds us why we started writing in the first place.

    Good luck with your reading goal, but I wouldn't beat yourself up about not reaching it, especially if it means more writing. ♥Stephanie