When I got my first publishing deal back in 2013 I found that when I was writing to a deadline it was difficult to keep up with my reading. This reading conundrum is something many writers suffer from…
- When I’m writing I’m always slightly worried that if I read books in the same genre that they will subconsciously influence me.
- Yet all authors are advised to read widely in order to keep up with what’s being published.
To address these difficulties I made sure that when I was writing fantasy, I read science fiction, and when I was writing science fiction I read fantasy or historical novels. That kept me happy for a few years, but gradually I’ve eased up on my own self-imposed rule. There are too many great books out there to limit what I allow myself to read.
Since 2009, I’ve blogged every book I’ve read, not on this blog (where I mostly blog about writing) but on my Dreamwidth blog at https://jacey.dreamwidth.org/. This has several advantages. Firstly it introducers people to books they may not have considered, and secondly it forms a database to help me remember book details. I so wish I’d done it decades ago.
I’ve always been a science fiction and fantasy reader. I my teens I read (from the local library) everything I saw which had one of those Gollancz yellow jackets. Oh boy, I do wish I’d been doing writeups then. I read a lot of the classics (which I was probably too young for at the time) but sadly very few of them have stayed in my brain.
So my advice is not only to read, but to keep track of what you read and even if you don’t do reviews, jot down something which will jog your memory five years from now; ten years from now. Go on… you’ll be glad you did.
Having said that, though I’ve been reading, I’ve had a lapse and I now need to catch up with this year’s book blogging. My reading is fifteen books ahead of my blogging. I promise to catch up soon. My random 2018 reading includes historicals by Julia Quinn, Ella Quinn, Danielle Harmon, and Sheila Walsh, a couple of delightful St Mary’s offerings by the wonderful Jodi Taylor (one novel, one short story), Patricia Briggs’ latest Alpha and Omega novel, the first Lindsey Davis Falco novel, and a couple of history books (non-fiction) by Peter Ackroyd.