Certain aspects of my writing process are predictable. I tend to teeter between manic binges of writing and reading. A writing professor of mine once said, “If you want to improve your writing, read more.” I don’t necessarily agree with this. In fact, I think a lot of authors sound too much like what they like to read.
Naturally as a Writer, I sweat words on a page. So every few months, once I’ve spilt enough syllables to keep me quiet for five or ten minutes – I binge on books. I say binge, because once I start reading… I usually read a book in a day or two, tending to pack three or four in a weekish, get it out of my system – and then get back to writing.
I don’t seek out literary greats or any particular genre, but I like books with gold medals on them. And ones with catchy summaries that make me say, “Yes. I would like to listen to your brain tell me things for a few days.”
I don’t force myself to read something I don’t like. If I get to page 10 and still don’t care, I won’t bother. I started reading Just Kids by Patti Smith yesterday and am about a quarter of a way through. Tonight I’m enjoying chapters accompanied with frangelico and lime.
Next I’m going to read Tinkers by Paul Harding. I snatched both goodies at the Barnes and Nobles on 5th Avenue last Saturday.