NaNo 2019 Day 18 — Writers must be readers, too

A common piece of advice in writing forums and from writing coaches is that you need to read extensively in the genre you’re trying to write. I don’t understand this piece of advice.

It’s not that I don’t think a writer should read extensively — I absolutely do! What I don’t understand is why anyone needs to be told this. To me, it feels as basic as ‘if you want to write you need something to write on.’ It’s hard for me to imagine someone wanting to spend their time writing in a genre that they don’t like to read.

Personally, I think it makes for even better stories when the writer is well-read across a number of genres. Things are less predictable when you’re not always seeing the same tropes over and over again.

All of this is to say that writers must be readers.

And it’s all an excuse, too. I am a prolific reader myself (if you were to check out my Goodreads profile you’d see that I’ve read 170 books so far this year, and counting), and I’m working on a book blog with a couple of friends. It was my turn to post today. In the delights of NaNo, I completely forgot to write a post until the last minute, which was yesterday. I finished the book I’d been reading for the blog, and wrote that post, and completely skipped writing my book.

C’est la vie.

Next time, I’ll write the post weeks in advance. I’ll read the book weeks in advance. I’ll arrange for a guest-poster so I don’t have to take my turn during NaNo month. More likely, I’ll find myself in a similar predicament. But it’s a good reminder that, while we’d like NaNo to be a vacation from the real world for the month, life will intrude.

If you’d like, click here to enjoy my book review, ironically of a book called No Judgments, from the Infinite Distractions blog.

Happy NaNo-ing!

I’ll be blogging my NaNo 2019 journey right here, so feel free to follow along. And tell me in the comments about something you discovered about your story as you wrote it!

Photo by João Silas on Unsplash

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