Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG, Reading Changed Me

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG

This month's Insecure Writers Support Group topic is:
How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

The truth is...A LOT

I was always a voracious reader. I was the kid in school reading as she walked to class, totally oblivious of people saying hello or...to my utter dismay, opening doors. I chewed through tomes in just a couple of days always on the prowl for a new series to swoon over. Often quoting characters and expecting others to understand my nerdy references. Yeah...that kid.

Now I am an adult version of that kid. I still read like its going out of style. I still tend to get lost in a book even in a crowded room.

BUT...reading took a little of an unexpected turn for me. It became a learning experience on how to write. 

As an author, I can appreciate what an author is doing in terms of technique. When I read, I notice things like dialogue, world-building, character development, story arc...and I learn a ton from each author.

Reading helps me identify what works and what doesn't. What I like and why I like it.  And hopefully, improve my own writing.

I figure the more I take in great writing...better writing...than my own...the more I learn.

Because of this, my choices in books has changed to reflect my taste for higher quality products. The YA genre in particular is pumping out some amazing series...I am truly excited as a reader and fan!

So now, happily, I have an actual professional reason for my book hoarding! Yay me!

Please take a look at some of the other insightful posts by the Insecure Writers Support Group...you never know where inspiration might strike.

+Raquel Byrnes

25 comments:

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Raquel, if you're not reading while driving or walking, you should be safe. LOL. I love how books make me grow as a human being and a writer, too. Can't imagine life without books. Love Mr. King's book On Writing. Welcome to IWSG, Raquel.

Crystal Collier said...

I hear you! At one point, I thought it best not to read because my ideas would be influenced by other people. Hah! (I was super young to be fair.) Now I read to research. What is working? What feels right in this genre? How did the author utilize character arcs to bring the theme home?

S. M. Pace said...

There's nothing more inspiring for writing than reading a well written book :-) Thanks for sharing this.

Christine Rains said...

Love the Doctor Who gif! I've always been a voracious reader too. These days, I have so much I want to read but limited time. So I will put down a book that doesn't hook me and give my time to a better story.

M.J. Fifield said...

Stephen King's book On Writing is one of my all-time favorite books on writing—and really, just in general. It was so inspiring.

I agree with you on the YA genre—there have been some truly amazing stories. And it's great to have a professional reason for book hording, isn't it?

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

Oh, yes! "I need those books for my job, you know?" No more having to endure stares when walking out of the bookstore with bulging bags - everyone knows I'm a writer and that I have to study the competition... or at least have something good to read on "sick days" ;-) Great post, thanks for sharing.

Laura Clipson said...

There's nothing like reading to get me inspired to write! It really is an important tool.

Lexa Cain said...

Sometimes I really wish I could go back to my younger days when reading was such a pleasure. I can't even remember the last book I really enjoyed. Maybe an SF I read a year ago by my favorite author ... no, it was just a re-hash of his earlier series. So basically I'm just concentrating on writing even while I wish to find books that carried me away to another world...

Stephsco said...

Yes YA has amazing books! My favorites from 2016 are The Reader by Traci Chee, The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner, and I am currently reading Ally Carter's Embassy Row series which is solid mystery/twists and turns.

Here's my February IWSG post: Stephanie Scott How I Read Now

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Oh, I never thought of using my writing as a professional reason for all of my books! Love it! :)

Chrys Fey said...

Welcome to the IWSG!

Reading to learn is wonderful. It's a great way to get inspired and to find out what works.

Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor said...

I love this quote >> "I have an actual professional reason for my book hoarding!" It's good to have a reason for the stacks and stacks of books taking over my tiny home.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

I've seen bus drivers reading. While driving. I know the traffic is slow guys, but come on...

IWSG February

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

That's a great answer to the question. I learn a lot by reading good writers too. My daughter who also writes and I have some great discussions about what makes a book work or what makes us love a character.

Damaria Senne said...

Reading my favourite authors has influenced the topics I write about and hopefully, I can also learn from their styles.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

You're right: we do learn to write by reading. Listening to audio books is a great tool to improve your writing as well -- even James Patterson says so. :-)

Stephanie Faris said...

That is so true. While writing multiple books has made me a stronger writer, without reading great books, I would never have gotten even as far as I have today. Imagine if someone had never read a book--no way would they be able to write one. They wouldn't even know how to write dialogue!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Welcome back to the IWSG.
Now you can write off all of your book purchases as research. Brilliant!
And I spent a lot of time with my nose in a book as well.

Fundy Blue said...

Welcome to the IWSG, Raquel! I was and remain a voracious reader, so I got a kick out of your school reading. Did you sneak a flashlight to bed to read under the covers? Happy reading and writing this month!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I spend much more money within the course of a year to feed my book addiction than I make money selling my own book. It'd be kinda nice if I could legitimately deduct that cost on income tax as a business expense. :) (Not too likely. I've ALWAYS consumed books like peanuts.)

dolorah said...

Good thing people open those doors for you, lol.

I feel like I'm learning as I read also, but sometimes, I just want to get lost in that world and forget everything and everybody.

Michelle Wallace said...

Reading a good novel always gets my creative juices pumping!
Having said that, I just can’t read with that same abandon that I used to before I started writing. On a certain level, it makes me sad.
Writer In Transit

Nick Wilford said...

Yeah, like Alex says, you can justify all that time spent reading as research. Proper business! I think it's inevitable that after we start writing, we read differently, but it's all good learning.

Denise Covey said...

I can never read enough. I set myself a 100 goal each year on Goodreads and usually make it.

Damaria Senne said...

Interesting point you make - that reading changed you as a writer. I hope it changes me too and makes me a better writer. It has certainly changed the genre of fiction I want to write, because I realised I want to write what I read. Good luck on your journey.