Since this blog is called 2 B Read, I thought I would write about reading.
I'm always amazed when I talk to rookie writers who tell me, when I ask, that they don't read. How can you possibly write if you don't read? Why would you want to write if you don't read?
It's the same basic principle as "You can't write what you don't like to read." Those who think that they can just sit down and bang out a romance because "romance novels sell like Tickle-me Elmos at Christmastime, and they're all just formula anyway," and think they can sell it instantly and make a patrillion bucks so they can sit back and write "the Great American Novel"-- those people soon discover that if they have no respect for the genre--if they don't even know what it is, they aren't going to get very far.
In order to write, you need to read. And if you want to get what you write published, I think it's even more important to read. Read in the genre you want to write, so that you know what's out there...and what's not. What's good...and what's not? Is there a gap? Something you'd like to see, or to write, that isn't out there?
I think it's good to read widely. Magazines. Non-fiction. Mysteries, science fiction, literary fiction. I'm not going to say you should force yourself to read things you just can't plow through, and yeah, sometimes time is just too short. And sometimes you're not in the mood for The Historian, or Heroics for Beginners, or The Cowboy's Pregnant Secret Bride. But it's not going to hurt me to try them out. (Was a little disappointed by The Historian, liked Heroics for Beginners--a tongue-in-cheek fairy tale--but thought it was a bit silly, made up The Cowboy's Pregnant Secret Bride--but hey, it could be a story, right?)
Now I just have to make time to finish The Dragon King's Palace by Laura Joh Rowland.