How do the things you read impact your writing? What do you love to read? What do you avoid reading at all costs? How would your writing change if you read more of the things you typically avoid?
There’s a Stephen King quote that says: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
I’ve often repeated this quote to aspiring writers, amazed that many claim not to be regular readers but, to me, it’s about taking the time to gain the tools required to write, those we find between pages of other books written by other people.
Reading broadens our view of the world taking by us into the lives of others in places we wouldn’t usually go. Books have no time restrictions, we can travel back or forward in time to live and learn amongst other people. Where else can you brush against historical figures, or legends created before a time we have experienced?
Whether a book is grammatically perfect or not, unless it’s virtually unreadable, and I pretty much know this by the bottom of the first page, I can sit back and enjoy the journey into the world of the author’s imagination.
The things I read impact my writing by increasing my knowledge and vocabulary, often introducing new words or new ways of using these.
I will read almost anything however, if forced to prioritise, I’ll reach for poetry, nonfiction, or speculative nonfiction first. This has to do with my own writing preferences and love of facts, historical and contemporary. Truth is part of my Sagittarian nature I guess.
Books I avoid reading are fantasy, religious novels, sci fi, to name a few and I suppose if I were to begin reading the books I typically avoid this might, and this is a big might, influence me to try my hand in another genre. But I doubt it as I’m content with where I am as a writer and the genres I write in.