To write well you have to read lots. It’s a simple, unadulterated truth. To write great books you have to have read lots of great books in the same genre. It’s like speaking a language – to speak it well you have to hear it often.
Makes sense right?
Well, it does in theory. See, I am an all or nothing kind of girl. I have trouble picking up a novel and putting it down again. If it’s a good story I’m going to want to put everything aside and do nothing but read until I’ve soared through the whole tale. I’ll stay up late even knowing full well that the first “Mama!” will ring out at 6am. I’ll sit and read despite the nagging to do list and growing number of unread emails.
That always feels great while I’m reading and not so great when the book is done and I’m missing the characters while facing the pile of stuff I’ve neglected. Add to that the fact that these days I always feel guilty when I’m reading. Not because of the laundry and work, but because if I’m reading then it means that I’m not writing.
As I mentioned in my post here, every day I spend not working on my novel it gets harder and harder to open the file and jump back in. But reading means that I tend to ignore the call of the manuscript. So what’s a girl to do? Because I get that it’s important to read to write well, but it’s also important to not read so I can, you know, write.