The 2012 Reading Challenge: Writers NEED to be Readers.

So, I just signed on for the Reading Challenge over on GoodReads. I’ve never tried to count the books I read in a year, but I saw the widget and thought, “Oh! For Cute!” So, there you are. It’s right over there–> LOL. I have a reader/writer identity crisis going on most days. If you ask me or anyone who knows me personally, we’ll tell you I’m a reader. I also happen to write. BUT If I  was held at gunpoint or off a skyscraper or faced with a poison apple, whatever and had to chose one or the other: read as much as I want, but never write another story OR write as much as I want, but never read another story…I’d kick you a little, but eventually I’d choose reading.  The stories I make up are specific to me and whether I wrote them or not, I could still entertain myself with them.

But without books….

I can’t imagine life without the endless opportunities they hold. A million authors with all those stories to tell. Books open the world beyond my imagination. Yeah, I’m sticking with books. I’d choose the books LOL.

Wether you use a widget or join GoodReads or hate GoodReads, or however you do it, I challenge you (my writing friends especially) to set a reading goal. Reading reduces stress, it provides an escape, it builds your vocabulary, challenges your mind….I could go on. Reading = Good. No matter how you slice it.

No time? How much television do you watch? A 300 page book takes about 5 hours of your life. Can you pass on one of your shows once a week to pick up a book? I don’t know. It’s up to you, but I’d trade my dinner for a book. I frequently trade my sleep for one. But that’s just me.

Now, specifically to the writers reading this: READ. You are off your nut if you think you can not read and still become a better writer. Business degree one-oh-one: Know your business. THIS is your business people. What’s selling? What’s hot? What are editors buying? (and yes before you all comment to say “what’s on shelves now was purchased up to 2 yrs ago” I KNOW. I got it. But it’s the point. You need to read what editors liked enough to take before their committee and vouch for. Know what’s out there before you write it and wonder why no one wants it. Der. <– that’s me making a dummy sound. I learned it from @Valeriebrbr who makes me laugh and she’s on twitter and seriously people GET ON TWITTER. *cough* #Bunnytrail

Reading also helps you see where there’s a need. Okay there are tons of zombie Apocalypse books, but do readers have one with a headstrong Valley Girl who turns it all around? There you go. Write THAT. You see what I’m saying? If you aren’t reading what exactly is your plan? I know I’ve talked to you about hive mentality, group think etc. You need to know what sells, what people love or hate and why, where the market is open and waiting and where it is bleeding from suicide attempts to escape another vampire book.

Final thought: Read. Whoever you are, whatever you do, add a book to your New Year’s Resolutions. Reading is a fantastic thing to do. For you. For your family. For your brain. If you are in need of a book and have a Kindle, download a free book. Hey, visit a library. Books are still free there too. While you’re there, kiss a librarian. I love those guys.

8 comments to The 2012 Reading Challenge: Writers NEED to be Readers.

  • I did the challenge last year and I set it at 100…I read just over 150 so I guess I can say I WON…hahahaha. For reals, I don’t speed read so I was impressed with myself :) I recommend everyone that reads give themselves a challenge. Even if it’s only 25 or 50 books.

    I’m not a writer, but I say GO DOR IT!

  • Absolutely! My writing is so much stronger when I’m reading. I set smaller goals bc I’m such a slow reader. But I’ve somehow read 3 books this year already. Maybe I can break 28 books this year…

  • Yes! Can you believe there was a point where I thought I was doing something wrong if I was reading while writing? (I mean, instead of writing non-stop, taking “breaks” to read in the evening.)

    I’m so glad I got over that one. :)

    What would life be without a stack of books on my coffee table? (Pretty much over!)

    Happy Tuesday!

  • I love to read! I signed up for the challenge this year so let’s see if I can do it.

    I am loving the kiss the librarian thing. I hope that everyone reads that and visits me! :-)

  • JULIE!!!

    I cartwheeled and squEEEEEEEd when I read this. You guys make me laugh too and reading is a huge must for a writer. Handsmack on Business 101. Der indeed!! I totally kissed Heather, btw. Hope she doesn’t handsmack me! LOL Happy Days! ~Val.

  • I totally also joined the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge. Besides the normal grown-up books and the normal YA books that I normally read, in the Challenge I plan to read 212 picture books. I write ‘em, I read ‘em, now I’ll count ‘em. People who don’t read scare me!

  • I completely agree! I could never go without books and keep my sanity intact. Books keep me grounded. They stop me from throwing a tantrum in the middle of the street when stress makes me lose it. Nothing can calm me down, cheer me up or inspire me like a book. And I definitely never would have become a writer if I weren’t a reader first and foremost.

  • I signed up too! It is my goal to read 100 books this year. I am so excited. :D

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