Should writers read, read, read?

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When you write you have to read lots of things and not just what you are writing about for it enriches your writing to see and experience how other authors compose their work. I read many genres. However, when I was writing my memoir I read many memoirs to grasp a feel of what I needed to do to write my memoir in a compelling way.

Writing in the House of Dreams: Creative Dreaming, Creative Writing

A participant on one of my recent writing workshops told us that she’d got stalled with the book she was working on, possibly because she had grown disheartened after reading several particularly wonderful books in the same genre.

It made me think about the advice most authors give new writers, to learn from the best and read, read, read.

I realised that although I do read a lot, it’s never in the same genre as I’m currently writing. When I was a new graduate working in a public library, I gorged myself on children’s fiction, catching up on all the books I’d missed as a non-reading child, but when I started writing children’s fiction in my late thirties, I  moved away from reading children’s books and immersed myself in adults’ books about self-help and popular psychology.

By the time I started writing self-help for children in my forties, I’d stopped reading…

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