I’ve interviewed many authors over the years. One thing that surprises me is how many who say they don’t read anymore. Most say they don’t have time to read.
I remember before I had children, I read three or four books a week. I enjoyed spending the day in bed with a good book. While I was pregnant a co-worker told me to enjoy my reading why I can, because once the children come there won’t be time. She was right; however as a book lover I decided I wouldn’t give up my books. I made it my treat for when I had time to spare or when I completed a project. I try to read at least one book a month.
This year I’m trying to read one book a week. It’s hard sometimes because life gets in the way, but I make it my business to read.
For enjoyment, I love being transported into a new world or learn about a place I’ve never been. I like meeting new characters and falling in love with them. I know it helps my mind continue to function. With non-fiction I learn how to improve myself. For example, some books help me to see how I can improve my writing, what I’m doing wrong, what I’m doing right.
I think this last reason is why many writers don’t read.
This week I’m reading a book by one of my favorite authors, Rochelle Alers and listen to a book on tape by Carly Phillips. WOW these women are blowing me away with their words. I’m thinking I’ll never get to their level, what was I thinking.
These type of thoughts can destroy your ego and take you away from what you’re doing. This week I understand why others don’t read. It’s hard to read someone and then compare yourself to their work.
I also learned that you can’t compare yourself to others you only can write the way you write. If everyone wrote the same there would be one style of writing and one genre. People probably wouldn’t read.
The books I’m reading continue to inspire me to be the best writer I can be. Yes I still think what was I thinking. Then I turn the page and know my name is LaShaunda, I have my own unique voice. One day, someone is going to read my book and think, I’ll never get to her level. Now that’s wild.
Keep reading! Make time to read. Read outside your genre.
You learn from each book even the bad ones. Each book will help you make your book a better book.