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POINT OF VIEW: Feeding My Writer Brain

Books on a Plate - Deposit Photos

It’s been forever since I sat down with a good book and just read the hell out of it.

I’m a compulsive worker bee, and these last five years have not been kind to our business, requiring ever more of my time, focus, and energy just to try to keep things running with my husband Mark

Reading is one of the things that had to go. There just wasn’t enough time. It’s funny. Writing a novel used to seem like such a daunting thing. Now reading one does.

As writers, we feast on words. We absorb them from the world around us – from events in our everyday lives that become touchstones in our work. We watch movies and TV shows and soak up ideas about how the world works, how people interact, and what might be if we just tweaked things here and here and here.

But reading is foundational. For a writer, words on a page are our wellspring, our modus operandi, our language. A good writer can toss a smattering of words across the page that will make you weep with grief or cry for joy. Can transport you halfway across the galaxy, or reveal a hidden world that lies just below our own. The written word is power, and we learn how to wield it by example.

So it’s brought me great pleasure to find time to read once again, after a historic dry spell. We’ve set aside half an hour before bed, and I’ve also found time during various breaks and at breakfast, when I used to read the paper.

In the last few months, I’ve read ten – count ’em, ten! – books. They’ve ranged from epic fantasy to comedic scifi to lyrical fairy tale, and I swear, with each one I can feel my mind’s inkwell fill up a little more.

I’ve proven to myself that I can still read books.

My writer brain is loving it. It’s like “oh, it would be really cool to try something like that” or “how did they do that?” or “I want to do this, but with a twist.”

I just finished a lovely feminist fairy tale called The Forest God by Jamie Lackey, and it tickled my fancy. I’ll be writing a review for it soon, and then maybe trying to write one myself. 🙂

So what’s up next in the TBR pile?

You’ll just have to wait for my reviews to see!

To my writer friends, how critical is reading to your writing abilities/skill? How many books do you read in a year?

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