Before getting to a great blog post by Lynda R. Young, I want to say I'll be back here on Wednesday for the Cheers, Cavanaugh Blogfest!
I'm happy to have Lynda R. Young blogging with me today. Since she's in Australia, and this is the Tiki Hut, that feels appropriate. Especially since it's coming up on summer down in Oz.
Lynda is talking about reading, which is also appropriate. I'm sure all of you love to read as much as I do.
There's a bit of a time difference between Australia and the U.S., so I don't know exactly when Lynda will be here. I'll do my best to keep things rolling along in her absence :)
Now I'll turn the Tiki Hut over to Lynda. And wait until you see the cover of her anthology (if you haven't already). Totally AWESOME!
Thank you so much, Carol, for inviting me here today. Lounging under the tiki hut makes me think of white beaches, warm sun, and reading. Yum! Reading is one of my favourite activities, and it's one of the more important activities a writer should do. However, the worth of reading is often underestimated, when it should be an essential part of a writer's daily routine. Because reading is such a pleasure, it's tempting to push it down the list of priorities. Below are my six reasons why writers should read as much as they can:
1. Reading is a learning tool. Reading regularly increases and maintains our vocabulary. Not only that, it shows us how best to use those words and so allows us to become better at expressing creative ideas and stories through those words. A deep understanding of the uses of grammar and the nuances of language will only come through reading other writers' work. Note: For writers to gain the full benefits of reading, we need to read with intention. Rather than switching off and just enjoying a good book, we should approach reading with an analytical eye. If you read like an editor, then you'll learn to be discerning about the words you use and the manner you use them.
2. Reading is inspiring. By reading books from a range of authors, we open ourselves to a wealth of possibilities expressed in those books. These possibilities can inspire and trigger new ideas for our own stories.
3. Reading keeps us abreast of the market. Before we pour our heart and soul into a novel, it's important to know the market. If your goal is publication, then there is no point spending time on a novel that's been done to death, or has no place in the market. Reading a plethora of books in the same genre we write will help us understand the market.
4. Reading is an affirmation. When I read a wonderful piece, I reaffirm how much I want to write something as wonderful. When I read a less than perfect piece, and am able to discern why the writing isn't working for me, then it's an affirmation to how far I've come as writer. Encouragement, wherever it comes from, is the food of life for writers.
5. Reading supports the book industry. With easy access to games, movies and other sources of amusement and distraction, the book industry has seen its greatest shake up. To counter this, we should be mindful that the more we buy books, the stronger the book industry becomes in this uncertain age of change.
6. Reading enriches our lives. This last point is relevant to everyone, not just writers. Through reading we are able to step into worlds we may never have had a chance to see, glimpse people we may never have had a chance to meet. Reading broadens our minds and generates imagination.
Do you make the time to read on a regular basis? Can you think of other reasons why it's important to read a lot?
Suggested reading over the holiday season:
Make Believe, an anthology of fantasy and urban fantasy short stories. My short story, Birthright, is included in this collection. It's about Christa as she learns that running from her birthright is impossible, even when her life is at stake. The full description of all the stories can be found on the J Taylor Publishing website HERE.
You can purchase Make Believe here:
Lynda R. Young lives in Sydney, Australia, with her sweetheart of a husband who is her rock, and a cat who believes world domination starts in the home. She writes speculative short stories and is currently writing novels for young adults. In her spare time she also dabbles in photography and all things creative. You can find her here:
Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads
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