Sunday, May 20, 2012

There Is No Writing Without Reading

I have recently read somewhere that there are now more (self-professed) writers than readers.  If it is indeed true, it is rather disturbing - I know I am not the first one to say that in order to be a good writer one needs to be a good reader first.  As writers we must read more than we write; we have to let our imagination soar and utilize what we learn by reading the works of other writers, whether established or just starting out.

That said, I am terribly behind on both my reading and my writing.  I am still on the last draft of my work-in-progess / first novel and I dread reading it. I think I am afraid that after two full years of writing and editing, I may find it still lacking here or there - and I fear having to rework it.

As for my reading, I simply don't know what title to pick up next!  Can you help me out?

I just finished reading Arthur Schnitzler's Dream Story.  Before that, I read Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.   I tend to reach for classics, literary fiction, or YA, especially if it is by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Any ideas?


  1. I agree that we should read more than we write. I think reading is one of the best ways to discover what we feel most drawn to writing.

    I just discovered your blog so you don't know me, but I've been reading a lot of YA and middle grade fiction lately and love those genres, amongst many other genres. One book that I loved is called The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen and I'm about to start reading a book called West of Here by Jonathan Evison.

    1. Thank you Leslie - I am following you too now.
      I'll check the titles out.

  2. Oh man the recommendations question is a loaded one. I could probably spout off 100 books that you should read :p I'm not sure that's really what you want though. So how about I give you the top 10 books that I've read in the last year that I think you should check out?

    1.The Fault in Our Stars-John Green (YA, and AMAZING!)
    2.The Homecoming of Samuel Lake-Jenny Wingfield (Adult)
    3.Ashfall-Mike Mullin (YA)
    4.The Passage- Justin Cronin (Adult)
    5.The Stranger You Seek-Amanda Kyle Williams (Adult)
    6.Cinder-Marissa Meyer (YA...this is an AWESOME retelling of a classic fairytale)
    7.Hate List-Jennifer Brown (YA)
    8.The Night Circus-Erin Morgenstern (I'd say Adult but some might classify it as YA)
    9.Domestic Violets-Matthew Norman (Adult)
    10.Sing You Home-Jodi Picoult (Adult)

    Those are just a few suggestions...I tried to give you a range of genre's and equal number of YA and Adult. Hope that helps!

    1. Oh yeah, loaded question :-) I did like the Passage a lot and I'll take a look at all the others.

      Just picked up Blood Oath - not really my type of book but I am enjoying it quite a bit!

  3. For YA adventure I have enjoyed "The Ranger's Apprentice" series by John Flanagan.

  4. Whenever someone asks me about how I research the craft of writing, my answer is by reading. I don't even read craft books (though I have in the past). I read writers I admire. I learn so much from them, and I become a better writer in the process.

    Great post!

  5. I'm on revising and hoping it might be closer to pubbing but I'll always feel that I forgot something. As far as my book list it is taking a turn to the friends I've made online. They promote their books for a reason and if I say I'm a friend then I should act like one. So for that reason, I've been buying their books and having fun reading them. Someday soon I might have to read a few other books too.

    1. Yes, that is a good point - I need to do the same!

  6. This is so true. While I don't read books about writing, I think that reading fiction is so important to a writer. Not only does it give you a break and a chance to relax, you can pick up some great inspiration and writing techniques.
    I tend to read YA, be it contemporary or fantasy or paranormal, but I will read anything that takes my fancy really.
    I gave your blog an award, you can find it here:

  7. How to live in this world and not leave the system dominate you?

    God Bless You!