Writing Killed My Reading.

Growing up, I devoured books. Seriously. There wasn't a book in sight that I wouldn't read, so long as it had a fantastical twist to it.

My first favorite series was The Animorphs Series by K.A. Applegate. I'd dream of meeting an alien race who gave me the opportunity to turn into whatever awesomesauce living thing I could touch. It was way too much fun.

Then there were Goosebumps. Oh man, those would scare the bejeezus out of me. I remember many nights where I laid under my covers, wondering if those stories could possibly be true.

Then came Harry Potter.

Oh, J.K. Rowling, how you forever altered my childhood. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I truly will never be able to express how much the fantastical world you created expanded my imagination.

In college a friend introduced me to the Twilight series. I was a bit behind on the craze, but hey, I got in there. :)

There has always been a book in my hand.

That is, until I started writing.

Then all of a sudden, I started noticing nuances and quirks in other author's writing that I hadn't noticed before. The plot holes became more pronounced. I thought about how I would have written a character or a scene, and how I thought the dialogue could be improved. I started thinking about how I should be writing instead of reading, so my books could get into the hands of readers. It almost made me feel guilty to get into a book and not be able to put it down.

I darn near quit reading.

It's been way, WAY too long since I've genuinely sat down and enjoyed a book. I'm remedying this. Today I bought a Kindle Fire, and loaded it with every single book I've wanted to read for the past 6 months. Life's been busy, what with my son being born and writing my books.

But, that's no excuse.

I wholeheartedly believe that to be a good writer, you need to be a good reader. A dear friend of mine said to read both great books and god-awful books, just so you know what works and what doesn't. She's wise.

How are we as authors to know how to improve our own books, if we don't learn from others in the craft? I think reading is even more important now than it was before I started writing, and I've been slacking. Not anymore.

I'm going to make a goal of reading at least 60 books this year, and I'll post reviews and keep tabs on my progress on here. No, this won't end up being a book blogging site I don't think, but I will post my thoughts on what I read. Plus, you guys can keep me honest. :)

Right now I'm reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin...and I'm SO impressed! If you haven't read it, pick it up. I'm really enjoying the way she leaves her chapters un-put-downable. Seriously, you all need to read this book. SO good!

So, what do you guys think? Writers, do you think reading hones your craft? Do you read your genre you write, or do you venture out? What's on your to-read list? I need to know these things, because I need more books to read this year, and I'd love to hear what you guys think on the topic! :)


  1. I loved both the animorphs and Goosebumps.

    I'm actually having the opposite problem, where I'm spending too much time reading and not enough time writing, but I can see how the opposite can happen. I agree that a person has to be a good reader to be a good writer. I've made a goal to read 111 books this year. The book I'm most looking forward to this year would have to be Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness which is the second in her All Souls trilogy. The first book is amazing! I'd call it a more mature version of Twilight with more history involved.

  2. I'm going to have to check that book out! I enjoyed Twilight, so that sounds like a good book to me already. :)

  3. I am finding the same thing. The more I write, the more picky I become about my reading. Nonetheless, almost every successful writer will tell you that reading widely is one of the best ways to improve your writing.

  4. At this point in my life, books are my babies beside my cat. If you have met me when I was 10 you could not even place a book in my hand because I would push it away. When come with Twilight that what made me continue reading after completely the series. I've discover so many in the past 3 years. Noted I didnt start Twiligth till I was a senior in high school. I'm also writing now as i dabble through writing when i was younger Now I'm writing a book and more book in hopes of getting published. I'm staying away from a particular genre "Vampires" I'm writing a vampire novel and I need to keep it as unique to my own and to my readers(when it completed that it came from inside my mind and my heart and i use music as insiprations and create my own characters, develop my own characters and mold them

  5. I loved Animorphs! Now I'm trying to remember what other series I read as a kid. Hmmm, may need to visit the library. Lol.

    It is hard to get that balance between reading and writing, isn't it? Seems like the more you do one, the less you can do the other. Just not enough hours in a day.