“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot…If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” – Steven King
We here at MW always say there’s no one way to write your novel. If sitting on the couch writing on a laptop works for you, then that’s how you should do it. Others of us work at a desktop, or in longhand on yellow pads. Some people write only in the morning before the rest of the family rises, and others write after dark. This guy writes the scenes that come to him, filling in the rest later, and that girl never deviates from the line her story follows, writing the end only when she actually reaches that chapter. And every way is right, as long as it works for the writer. The thing, though, that I think everyone must do…is read.
It isn’t enough that you read books as a child. It isn’t enough that you read all of Tolkien and you think there’s nothing new out there to try. You have to make time in your schedule to read books, classics and brand new work. Reading what other people have done is the best way to learn what sells, what works and what drives a great story. It’s also a good way to learn what doesn’t work for you, so you don’t make the same mistakes.
I read every night before sleeping. Even if I’m very tired, I’ll still indulge in a few pages. I don’t read as quickly as I once did, so I’m by no means going to finish a book in two days (maybe not even in a week.) But what I read makes an impression. It teaches me things even today. The publishing world is constantly changing and flowing, and I want to be able to keep up.
This is my TBR shelf.
There’s fiction, nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy. Some are library books, at least three are lent books, and the rest are mine, all mine. And I’ll eventually read every single one of them.
So who wants to tell me what their TBR shelf/stack/bookcase looks like? Do you have any of the same books on your shelf that I have on mine? Want to recommend something I should try?
EDIT: Okay, since you were wondering, the mysterious box is a jewelry box made of some sort of pink stone (or stone-like material – it’s very heavy) with horses carved in white stone on the top.
Unfortunately, the lid hinges broke years ago. So now it holds bookmarks instead.
You really didn’t think I’d admit to keeping magical secrets in there, did you?