Reading as exercise

Why does reading inspire the desire to write? Once a week I like to sneak off to my library for some quality time with a stack of books. I’ll prop myself on the sofa with a couple of big cushions, a pot of tea and climb under a blanket if it’s cold enough. I always start with a quick review of the chosen stack, nibbling at a few pages – like a taste test  – and set aside the chosen few. After snuggling in with a book and reading a chapter or more I begin to think about my own novel and the desire to return to the computer comes back with a vengeance. A bad book makes me want to stop reading, but a really good book makes me what to keep writing. Reading is as much a creative exercise as writing, but sometimes I wish I could switch of the writer’s brain and just enjoy a good book from the first word to the last full stop.


About Sharon

Writer, bibliophile, dreamer and student of everything
This entry was posted in Ideas & imaginings, ME ON WRITING and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Reading as exercise

  1. mercerd says:

    interesting material, where such topics do you find? I will often go

  2. This happens to me too. When I’m experiencing a bout of writer’s block, reading works of fiction or books on craft will usually inspire me again.

  3. vanyieck says:

    Reading stimulates my own creativity. It doesn’t need to be a novel or short story. I’m currently reading a series of essays. The ideas they present nourish and challenge my own thinking innumerable ways. That eventually filters down into my writing.

  4. newtowritinggirl says:

    I find this too. ALSO I’m starting to find that as I start to write more, I am really really critical of books as I’m reading them. If there’s even the slightlest contradiction it drives me mad. Writing has wrecked reading for me a bit!

    • Hi there
      Being analytical of what you’re reading is a good thing. It helps you learn what works in writing, but more importantly what doesn’t work. I’d like to tell you that the tendency to be “critical” goes away, but it won’t. I can say that when you do read something you like it resonates in you more than anything you’ve read before. Don’t give up on your reading life – there’s still so much great work out there.

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