Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Write, Read, Repeat

Two weeks ago I went on a writing binge, pumping out 22k in five days. It. felt. awesome! I'm still working on that project at a slightly slower pace. I'm about half-way through an anticipated 50k words. But the reason for my slowdown was...

A reading binge. I read five novels in the past week. Yeah, not getting a lot of sleep these days. So before I talk about why I'm acting crazy, I just want to take a moment to acknowledge that extremes like this are not healthy and I don't recommend you forfeit sleep to do all the reading and writing you want to do. I experienced a creative spike after some slow writing months and just went with it.

But I do want to point out a significant truth for writers that became more pronounced during my writing/reading binges:

You can't really be a writer if you don't read, too.

It takes a reader to write a really good book. While you read, you're picking up on subtext and the natural swing of a story arc, and maybe even consciously taking note of clever prose or innovative, raw dialogue you'd like to emulate. More than that, you're reaffirming in your own mind the importance of STORY. You're falling in love with fiction over and over again, which helps with the key problem facing most novelists: motivation.  

So if you're feeling stressed as a writer, not meeting your word quota, or just need to remember why you write, head over to Afterglow Book Reviews and fall in love with some books that got five stars. I promise your writing will improve.

Two days, two amazing books! Read my Afterglow reviews of THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner and the brand new SUPERNATURALLY by Kiersten White

Get primed for our August 1st Mystery Agent contest at Operation Awesome! Lindsay's shared a bunch of helpful links for working your one-line pitch.


  1. You are SO RIGHT. I spent all my time in June writing my pants off, and had no reading time. I took a break after finishing my first draft and have been reading tons, and it's amazing how it kind of refreshes my writing coffers and imagination.

    Off to check out the new reviews on Afterglow, and hopefully write a few of my own soon... :)

  2. Awesome! I wish I had more time to read. I could stay up until midnight every night and get a ton done, but I honestly think my health would become unbalanced. Sleep is one of those things that I still don't get enough of (my two-year-old gets up at 5:00 AM a lot), and I really value it for my health. I've got about three books that I'm plugging away at right now. Thanks for the pitch link for the Operation Awesome contest :)

  3. Man you write AND read fast! I'm inspired to read more now. I'm sure when I go dark I'll get more time too.

  4. You definitely make a good point. Writer read. Writers read a lot. Love this post. Congratulations on your writing binge. I wish I had the inspiration/motivation to get that much done. Still in Revision Hell :(

  5. I agree. I've been on a reading binge this summer too. What can I say--I don't do balanced.

  6. And in the middle of all this, being the cool Mom that helps her son find Bunny toys in the dirt and pine cones. Amazing. I guess feeding your creative side gives you that creativity to be inspiring to others. I think I've starved my inner muse almost to death. Maybe I should do something about that!

  7. I was just telling a friend of mine, who is new to writing, this truth. Amen sister!

  8. I agree. I need to read more. Being so wrapped in re-writes takes it;s toll, so reading would be a wonderful escape.

  9. I'm glad all my writing friends just get it. You guys rock! Love your guts.


Speak up! You will be heard...or read.