Thursday, July 7, 2011

Adding reading to your writing goals

Most writers are goal oriented people. Hit 50K by next month; finish revisions by Christmas; get an agent by 2013--you get the picture. But we often fail to add one of the most important aspects of being a writer to our goals: being a reader.

The number one lesson I remember from college is if you want to be a writer, you must be a reader.

Reading will improve your writing, increase your creativity, and even give you new ideas. We should read books in our genre to get a real feel for it. We should read how-to books on writing. We should read best-sellers to know what the market is enjoying. We should read friends' recently-published novels to show our support. And we should also read for fun.

However when you're immersed in writing, reading, like doing dishes and shaving your legs, can easily get pushed aside. This can't happen! One way to avoid this is to add reading to your goal list.

My current goal list has these in it:
*Read 100 Years of Solitude, Fall On Your Knees and Cutting for Stone by August 1. These are big-name family sagas (which I write).
*Read another writing technique book by September 1.

So far I've finished 100 Years of Solitude and Fall On Your Knees which are huge, fat family sagas. I've gained a greater appreciation for my genre, and I've also gotten new story ideas from them.

Have you added reading to your goal list? Will you?


Bonnie R. Paulson said...

I need to do this. I read but usually only for critiquing or once my brain has shut down from writing. I forget how muuch I love it until I'm immersed.

I'm adding reading to my goal list. Watch for it! : )

Emily Rittel-King said...

So true! Reading helps me keep my sanity while I'm writing, especially while I'm revising. I like your goal! I should make one too...

Jolene Perry said...

I've read Ockler and Nelson (who I aspire to write like) and I'm not reading John Green and hopefully, maybe, one day, my writing will be as cool as his ;D

And LOOK at how different our same topic posts were!

KaseyQ said...

I just finished reading "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" and it reminded me what beautiful literature is. In turn, it also reminded me that, like you said, I need to read to improve my writing vocabulary. Not just the literal vocabulary, but the way that I write as well. And I love the joy that I get from a beautiful book!! :-)

Lacie Nezbeth said...

I agree. Reading is super important and helpful as writers. I never seem to need to set goals for reading just comes naturally. ;)

Jessica R. Patch said...

I agree with you 100%! I put a goal widget from goodreads on my blogsite. I have a goal to meet within a year and each book I read gets recorded so I can keep up. I also like using goodreads because I can review the books and go back and look at them and what I thought when doing a review on the blog.

I've learned a lot from reading in my genre and I try to get reading time in at the pool, the car rider line, and at night before bed if I'm not watching TV with the hubby. :)