I forget to read sometimes. I’m not talking about reading the important books and articles on the craft of writing, or the blog posts from other writers about their successes and failures, or even books and articles about the business of being a writer. I’m talking about reading for the sheer enjoyment of reading and some of the genres that I am interested in writing in.
I was reminded when I read a blog posts by author Jody Hedlund today about the importance of reading, especially for a writer. She wrote about reading being an important tool in your writer’s toolkit because in order to be a good writer, in particular a fiction writer, you have to actually find the time to read just for your enjoyment. She also stressed the importance of not feeling guilty about taking time to read something that has absolutely nothing to do with researching whatever your next project is because reading in the end helps you learn other techniques of other writers and methods of storytelling that you might not have discovered before.
Reading her blog post made me think of just how many times I felt guilty for even reading a book that had nothing to do with what I was working on, or something to do with developing other techniques and skills that I need to as a writer. But I didn’t use to be that way. I used to always make sure I had a book in my hands, in fact there was a point in time where I would read two books at a time, one about my craft and one that I just wanted to read for enjoyment. I could breeze through a book in about two days and now I can barely get through a book in a couple of months.
I realized in reading Jody’s blog post that I shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting to just block out a space of time to read. It was reading that made me fall in love with writing in the first place. It was reading that made me want to be a storyteller that captivated people with just my words. It was reading that allowed me to get lost in other people’s stories when I didn’t want to be in my own reality. I forgot how much I loved to read and that I shouldn’t feel guilty about just wanting to curl up with a good book and get lost in a reality that is not my own.
The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)
Writing as “Jaycee Durant”