Monday, 25 June 2012

Writers should be Readers

If the amount you read correlates directly to how good a writer you are, I should rate amongst the best.

Early on in my career, I was told to read everything and anything but especially in the area that you intend to write. I have read widely across all genres from classics to children’s books and just about everything in between.

I have read some truly amazing books; I have also ploughed through some awful ones. Many authors make me weep in despair (I could never be that good ever) whilst others give me hope (how did they ever get published in the first place), practically all of them make me envious.

The pile of books on my own personal slush pile is stacked so high that I am sure they will topple over one night and knocked me unconscious. My Kindle is loaded with recommendations and I belong to two book groups (what sane person takes on two?).

I frequently stay up far too late, lost in the imagery world of someone else’s making.

If that were not enough, I edit books for a living; guiding authors gently towards publication and taking great care to help them produce the best book possible.

So, I think it is safe to say that I am a reader. It only occurred to me recently that perhaps if I actually read less, I might write more.

Yes, writers should be readers but not the extent that they fail to focus on the one thing that might lead to someone, somewhere holding a copy of their book and being moved to laughter or tears, reading just one more chapter before they go to sleep because they can’t bear to put it down…

Away then with midnight book binges and on with committing words of my own to paper for I have reached the conclusion that even penning a really awful book has got to be better than never writing one at all!