I was a guest author on a mystery panel at a local library last week, and we were asked the question: How much do you read while you are writing a book,and do you worry that what you are reading will influence your writing?
I read constantly. I read before I go to sleep, while I eat lunch, in doctors’ waiting rooms, while I brush my teeth (yes, I really do), and other odd moments throughout the day. And with the things that happen in my life, I have quite a few really odd moments.
But I don’t worry that what I read will influence what I write in more than the most subtle ways. I learn from my reading, and am constantly motivated to write better because of what I read.
I don’t understand people who say they don’t have time to read. For me, reading is like breathing. Would I not have time to breathe? If I didn’t read, how would I know how to write?
2 thoughts on “How much do writers read?”
i agree with you, reading a lot helps you write to some extent. apart from reading a writer does need a lot of other elements though.
I’ve heard musicians say that when they’re writing music they can’t listen to music of the same style. I think in the same way, when I’m writing something of a certain genre, I try not to read anything that’s too similar. I’m not too afraid of absorbing a writer’s style — but I’d like to make sure I don’t subconsciously mirror a plot point or character type.