Day 5 Prompt: There’s a Stephen King quote that says: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” How do the things you read impact your writing? What do you love to read? What do you avoid reading at all costs? How would your writing change if you read more of the things you typically avoid?
Reading comes so naturally to me that it’s hard to imagine life without it. And as a writer, I can’t think of a better lesson plan with thousands of built-in “mentors” and teachers showing you their little corner of style and perspective. Reading is how we learn, not just of the world, but of our craft. I tend to agree with Stephen King, if you want to be a writer, then read. For me, personally, John Waters has a more powerful concept for everyone, even non-writers:
I’ve made WAY too many exceptions to John Waters’ rule of thumb here, but that’s an article for another day. What a person decides to read means far less than simply having the desire to just read. If nothing else, at least they are reading. We can quietly judge them for their choice of reading material later. There’s something to be said for the constant learners of the world that make time to experience the world through someone else’s eyes and mind. Reading, and the knowledge that comes with it, is power. For some, it’s the power to escape their lives for a little bit. And for others, it’s a more practical, hands-on learning experience. And then for some, like me, there is a sincere joy in just reading.
I read a LOT. Often up to 20 books at a time, and usually always non-fiction books that describe either the world we live in, or the people who inhabit it. And sometimes, a book or author will capture my attention in the fiction category too. I either want to get whisked away to a magical world of impossible possibilities, or I want the element of reality, like I could walk out my front door and experience it happening now, with all the nerdy scientific specifics as accurate as possible. My over-analytical mind is not very forgiving of authors that don’t get their science right. I enjoy having to actually stop reading in the middle of a sentence to verify data. Gets my wheels turning. There’s no reason a non-fiction book can’t teach us about the world we live in. Michael Crichton & Dan Brown are two of my favorites that seem to do a good job in this department. I also read the entire Harry Potter series with eager anticipation of each “next” book. Sometimes authors just grab you. And, sometimes they don’t. Romance novels, including this whole 50 Shades of Grey kick, totally disinterest me. And, if I were to start reading them more, I am sure my writing would be a lot more…sultry. But don’t count on that anytime soon.