Writers Read (or at least they should)

I’ve barely touched my summer reading list and I have to do better.

I love reading as much as I love writing. Lately, it seems that I have to pick between the two. Between my little darlings, my forever lover, and writing I don’t have much time to dive into a great book. It hasn’t mattered how interested I am in what I am reading. Time is expensive and I have to be careful how I spend it.

The thing is, part of how I became so enamored with writing is by being charmed from the pages of great writers. The two go hand in hand. One needs the other to thrive and so on. So, this summer, as I began settling into the latest twist in motherhood I decided I’d bit the bullet. I would make a summer reading list and stick to it. One by one, I would work my way through my favorite authors and some new ones until I hit my goal. So far, I’ve only finished one of the twelve books I plan to get to this summer.

It’s an ambitious undertaking for me. I’m reading during naps, during bathroom breaks, while my lover is driving us to and fro. It feels chaotic, but still enjoyable. The books remaining on my list promise to be the same way. I’m hopeful, because as I said before time is expensive. I’m sure I would have a little resentment if I wasted any on a bad book. I want to enjoy them all. I want to reach my summer goal. It is going to be tough.

While reading, I find myself dancing between both worlds. I’m a fan enjoying a book and an author learning from it. It is such an odd thing to feel. Authors I’ve read for years have taken on new forms for me. Every author is distinctive. Word choice, ideas, and methods at approaching old tropes all take twisting forms. I love it.

Reading as an author makes me feel like Lois Lane must have felt learning Clark Kent was superman. I see their magnificent author super powers and I am in awe and familiar. I’ve known them forever and now this trick is unveiled and twist makes so much more sense. When I return to my own writing, my stories take on more depth, become more fluid, and it’s easier to determine what details are truly critical.

It is my belief that all writers should read. I find that with each book I crack open, it pushes me from my comfort zone. I’m not the one driving. I’m a passenger onboard to an unknown destination. There is so much more to see.

I’m committed to twelve books this summer as a fan of great books and an author. I’m committed to the lessons I will learn about character development, fluidity, plot twists, and the enjoyment I get from a delicious finish. I’m committed to the influence those I admire will have on my work.

When I am meet my goals for the summer, I will let you know. In the meantime, if you have a good recommendation drop it in the comments.

 

Joy

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