Monday, February 04, 2008

reading, writing

I know I've been lapse on posting in thebookbook--but I have now posted two new reviews!! And yes, this is kind of an ad--I know I have some new readership recently, so if any of you are interested in thebookbook, I hope you'll stop by and let me know if you want to participate.

I know it was hard for me to get back into reading as we all got back to work after New Year etc, but I feel really good now that I have. I've decided that I really strongly believe that reading all the time has made me a better writer. I once had an English teacher who suggested that you have a "writing" mode and a "reading" mode and you shouldn't push yourself hard in one direction when you're naturally inclined in the other. But for me, this isn't true (she says after approximately 9 years of reflection). My vocabulary is better when I'm reading all the time, my thoughts are sharper and more succinct than they would be if I weren't forcing myself to think about other people's ideas. I know there's a widely voiced concern that reading other people's writing can affect your style, but for me, at least, that's not the case. I'm more conscious of my own style when I've recently been focusing on someone else's.

Just some random thoughts.

11 comments:

Precie said...

I feel the same way. It could just be coincidental, but I think my reading fuels my writing in that it sort of puts my creative abilities into overdrive. And when I haven't read fiction for a while, my writing suffers because my brain sort of slows down. In fact, when I feel my motivation slipping, I'll pick up a book for a jump start.

Demon Hunter said...

I agree, Moonrat. I read all the time and it improves my writing, whether it's good or bad writing. Reading and writing helps you to create your own style, IMHO.

Jennifer L. Griffith said...

I TOTALLY agree.

I always write more better when I read more better fiction.

I guess I better get to reading. I can tell I'm not as sharp as I was the other day...

Okay, in all seriousness, I do find that I am much more creative when my juices are sparked by a good read.

Precie said...

demon--Exactly...reading helps you create your own style! You see what works and doesn't work for you as a reader, and you get a greater sense of your own voice.

Amy said...

I agree with precie. Fiction jump starts my writing too.

Reading is necessary, it feeds the writer. We're constantly harvesting all this creativity- I can't imagine new stuff forever. I need to read some good fiction so that an idea or phrase can spark an idea about my own story. The new idea might have nothing at all to do with the sparking idea/phrase, but I need that spark.

Lisa said...

I had such good intentions to share my thoughts on books on The Book Book and yet, I never seem to find the time to write them up. Truthfully, I find writing a book review to be almost more difficult than writing anything else and I'm not sure why that is. But I visit the blog daily and I've read a number of books based on recommendations I've read there. God bless Froog for helping me to find Alain de Botton. I LOVE HIM. I can't imagine life without lots and lots of books. I only wish my writing was influenced by some of the writers I've read. Sadly, I don't seem to have that problem :)

Maprilynne said...

*sigh* I need to post at the BookBook too. After my edits are done, I promise!!!!

The Anti-Wife said...

Reading books keeps me aware that writing enough words to have something publishable is possible. Look how many other people have accomplished it. For ideas I like to read the newspaper. There are some really weird and interesting people and events in this world from which to draw.

Froog said...

Hi Lisa,

Glad to be of service! It's a great feeling to know that you've turned somebody on to something good.

booklady said...

That's crazy. I've never heard anyone talk about a writing mode and a reading mode. I wonder if the teacher felt pushed to be a good writer and reader, but was really only interested in one (probably reading, since most writers I know are also readers, but not vice versa). As for reading when I'm writing, I find that when I'm writing, I'm especially hungry for others' stories. They remind me why I'm doing this, and they help me figure out, "Oh! So that's how they do that!" All it takes is a few minutes of going back over my WIP to regain my voice. If your voice is strong enough, then it shouldn't be too much of an issue, I think.

ChristineEldin said...

You are singing my song!!!

My biggest inner turmoil about blogging has been that I'm a children's writer, but I'm hanging out with sci/fi, romance, erotica (ha!!) writers--
I am SOOO glad for these interactions. I am learning so much more than if I were just spending time in my own genre.

I love you guys. (group hug)

:-)