Reading Is Like Breathing

What I’m talking about is how important it is to read. As authors, we get so caught up in our own writing, our own deadlines, our own work, that oftentimes we forget to take time out to read.

One of the reasons I became a writer was because I love to read romance. I got caught up in romance when I was very young. In 6th grade I started reading the Dark Shadows books and was in awe of the dark romance on the page. Then when I was 17 I was introduced to historical romance via Kathleen Woodiwiss and The Flame and the Flower, and I was hooked

And I wanted to write, so I did.

But when I started to write in earnest, I stopped reading, mainly because I dove so deep into my own writing I became too busy to read, which was what got me started on writing in the first place.

And that’s bad.

If all you read is your own work, your writing grows stale, repetitive, out of touch with what’s going on out there in the publishing world.

I did that for awhile. And I missed out on some really great books. I built myself a wall and in my little room I locked myself in, convinced if I stopped to read it would do me harm.

I did myself harm. I lost touch with my own creativity.

When I started reading romances again, I found it freed my mind, and my muse. I needed breaks from my own work so that I could tap into my own creativity again.

Denying yourself the pleasure of reading because you’re afraid it might hurt your writing….hurts your writing. Now I make it a point to read all the time. And I’m so glad. Because not only can I join in the blogosphere discussions of great books out there, but I’ve found new friends in the writing community…my peers who write incredible romance in all different genres and other readers like myself who enjoy wonderful books. And my own creativity has been sparked by these amazing stories.

Is every book I read great? No. But I learn something new from each book I read. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

I’m so thankful I tore down that wall and started reading again. Now if I could just take a few months off writing so I could get through the TBR pile…..