I’ve heard of writers taking a reading day–a designated day where they just read. An idea I’ve grown rather fond of. So much so that I think I’ve spent more time reading than I have writing. My weekly reading day, has transpired into reading days, and very little writing is getting done.
I am certain that it is good to read books that will aid us in various areas of our writing, so as I continue to make my way through my reading goals for 2016, I am choosing to revert to my grad school days to make my reading meaningful and intentional. Rather than just reading for fun, I am now using this time to populate my books with notes on post-its of things the author is doing that will aid me as a writer. Be it story structure, an unorthodox way of solving a problem, a way of developing a character, etc.
The point is not to steal these ideas from other writers, but to truly study how they went about creating their stories and then challenge myself to come up with something original for my own.
I believe we read to write. Or at least to become better writers. That being a voracious reader is essential to the craft, but that we must do more that just read for pleasure. (And, of course, remember to form our own sentences and not just relish the one’s of others.)