Authors are big talkers about writing block…but what about reading block? I had always assumed that all authors read as much as they write. But my biggest surprise during the 10 years I have been working with authors is how little reading many of them get done! Meeting authors that don’t read has always baffled me, but even I (book worm by birth) have gone through reading blocks at different times throughout my life. Contrary to the belief of many new Indie authors, reading is necessary in order to master writing. I expanded my genre repertoire in order to get better by improving on vocabulary, style and techniques, before I even considered writing for publication. In fact, reading is not only necessary to improve writing skills, it is necessary for research on the topic whether for fiction or non-fiction, for marketing, to establish fan following, and much more. Below are some examples on how to get reading while writing:
1) Schedule reading time as work time. You need to consider reading as part as your job as a writer. Even if it is thirty minutes a day, you will be able to notice a big difference in your writing skills.
2) Consider choosing reads within the genre you are currently writing. This will not only benefit your current work, but if you write reviews on the books you are reading, it can also help you to make contacts as well as gain fans for your upcoming book.
3) Join a critique group. This is my favorite, as I not only read other authors’ work, I also get feedback on mine while I am working on it!
4) Join a book club. The great thing about book clubs is that they more than likely will be interested in reading your book, too. However, what I really like about book clubs is that you are dealing with avid readers and can make note of what they want to see in a book.
It is no secret that the writer’s lifestyle is more isolating than glamorous. But the funny thing is that the more we isolate ourselves within our work, the more prone we are to blocking ourselves. Reading is the medicine for that. By using reading groups to get you out of your isolation at least once a month you will also harvest benefits for your platform. Happy reading!