Re: Writers, how much do you read?

#2

Fuchsia Wrote: I've seen a few writers over here say that since writing, they no longer read, which I find crazy..

I honestly haven't read much since I graduated school. Something kinda broke in my head between childhood and adulthood and now I can't seem to hold my attention on anything for extended periods of time unless it's something I'm writing. I used to be able to chew books up in like a day or two cuz I found the written word so damn entertaining, but nowadays, I have trouble sitting down to watch a movie or something.

The last book I read all the way through was Little Witch Academia: The Nonsensical Witch and the Country of the Fairies which is very clearly for children and it's really really short. I mostly did it to try and force myself to actually start reading again, but I failed miserably.

Other than that, I've been inching my way through Thedude3445's Hands Held in the Snow and CitizenSamurai's Humiliation of a Samurai but I'm struggling between balancing life, my own work, and the other tons of media I still have to consume.

I think my lack of reading shows itself in my admittedly still amateur-ish writing. I really should start reading more again, but I have a really hard time finding stories that interest me and the attention span to actually finish them. Nowadays, I get most of my story inspiration from video games, anime, and film, which is cool for broad ideas, but terrible for anything in the written word.

Re: Writers, how much do you read?

#3

Fuchsia Wrote: I've seen a few writers over here say that since writing, they no longer read, which I find crazy.. 

DrakanFascinating

It's not that crazy, actually. Unlike published authors who can take their time to write a book and can take long breaks between books, those who're serialized don't have that luxury. They have schools, colleges, jobs, and hundreds of other time-consuming stuff and above that, they need to think about their own story and churn out thousands of words daily. The time you actually get for your own entertainment once you begin something like writing is minimal at best...


Then there are other media like youtube or manga that provide quick entertainment without taking up much of your time, so you rarely turn to stories that take time to commit to...

For me, there's another factor. Once I'm really invested in a story, I kinda forget all other work, including writing. So I avoid getting invested...

So even though it's true that writers especially should read a lot to improve their craft, that option becomes unlikely with a serialized writer's lifestyle...

Re: Writers, how much do you read?

#4
I don't read very much when I'm writing. I find that if I do, I get distracted from the story by my own story instead. Unless a book I've been waiting on for ages just got released or something, I tend not to go starting new reading projects when writing.

Of course, reading is essential to improving one's writing skills (and anyone who says otherwise is being lazy), so I deal with this by having a word limit to hit every month and after I reach cap I'm not allowed to write any more until next month. The rest of the month is time for reading, refining, and letting story ideas ferment.

Re: Writers, how much do you read?

#5
For one chapter I write I read 3. 

I nead to read before going to sleep. 
Not all those 3 will be novels. I also include newspapers, scientific reviews, romans etc... 

I almost never watch TV/movie. Very little YT. So it leaves a lot of time for reading. 


I believe the main reason some writers read less is time. Writing takes a lot (researches, inspiration, drafts, checks, proof readings, publishing etc..) and eats on the free time allocated to reading. 

I also think it is important to keep reading. It helps find inspiration, change your mindset, learn more about the craft. 

I couldn't stop reading, even after i started writing. 


Sure my story is the very best ever written and any other stories feels bland in comparison, but I still feel compelled to read them, at least to remind me how better mine is.  DrakanLaugh (irony inside, use with caution) 

Re: Writers, how much do you read?

#6

I Wrote:
Fuchsia Wrote: I've seen a few writers over here say that since writing, they no longer read, which I find crazy.. 

DrakanFascinating

It's not that crazy, actually. Unlike published authors who can take their time to write a book and can take long breaks between books, those who're serialized don't have that luxury. They have schools, colleges, jobs, and hundreds of other time-consuming stuff and above that, they need to think about their own story and churn out thousands of words daily. The time you actually get for your own entertainment once you begin something like writing is minimal at best...


Then there are other media like youtube or manga that provide quick entertainment without taking up much of your time, so you rarely turn to stories that take time to commit to...

For me, there's another factor. Once I'm really invested in a story, I kinda forget all other work, including writing. So I avoid getting invested...

So even though it's true that writers especially should read a lot to improve their craft, that option becomes unlikely with a serialized writer's lifestyle...



I get that, but like, don't they miss reading? I mean, most people start writing because they like stories and reading, right? 

It's not a 1:1 comparison, but I see it in a similar way to chefs and food. I would find it pretty sad if a chef got in to cooking because they like food, only to eat trash thereafter, or not eat all. 

I can see some people not having enough time to read, but I think most people do. I mean, I know someone that works two jobs and still finds time to read amidst a bunch of other responsibilities. Imo this is an excuse most people make because they no longer like to read and don't want to admit that. 

Re: Writers, how much do you read?

#7
I haven't sat down and read a book in years.

For the most part, I consume all of my books through audiobooks. Its easier to get into. Personally, I prefer audiobooks to music while driving, especially on commutes over 20 minutes.

I hardly read in the genre I write, though, because most of the audiobooks just aren't my taste. But I read a lot of epic scifi and fantasy and I use that as inspiration for my own writing.

I firmly believe that you cannot grow as a writer without reading more. Because most storytelling is learning to tell your story better and you won't do that without learning how other people tell their stories.

Re: Writers, how much do you read?

#8

I Wrote: It's not that crazy, actually. Unlike published authors who can take their time to write a book and can take long breaks between books, those who're serialized don't have that luxury. They have schools, colleges, jobs, and hundreds of other time-consuming stuff and above that, they need to think about their own story and churn out thousands of words daily. The time you actually get for your own entertainment once you begin something like writing is minimal at best...



This. A hundred times this. I do actually make time to read other authors' work, and if I find one I like I tend to stick with it until the end. But it's a struggle and I can never read as much as I'd like.

My god, writing eats up a vast amount of time. I work full time, for a start. Since starting my story, I've had to drop countless social engagements to make room, drop other hobbies, and also dropped a lot of relaxation time. I don't get a whole lot of sleep. And I'm decidedly on the slow end of writers here. I don't know how authors who churn out more rapid material do it.

Give me a time dilation chamber any day. I'll be forever grateful.

Re: Writers, how much do you read?

#10
I once read an advice to carry a book with you everywhere to fill in the dead spaces in life, so that's what I do. I have my kindle or an audiobook with me at (almost) all times and read throughout the day whenever nothing else is going on. It usually amounts to around a half hour minimum a day, sometimes more, occasionally less. Then I also read at night before falling asleep, which sometimes is a problem, but usually is fine.

Re: Writers, how much do you read?

#11
I couln't imagine not reading and being a writer. I can slightly understand if you are a hobbyist. However, if you want to be a professional writer, reading is necessary.

I try to read as much as I can. Though I read very few web fiction titles. The one I have, aren't posted here. I read exclusively traditionally published works and what I might find in self-publishing to read. Usually fantasy and non-fiction.

I have to read otherwise I start getting into slumps and the act of reading a book usually gets me over slumps. I have started to listen to more audiobooks. I would love to read more books per year than my 20 and bump it back up to 30 or so. Being dyslexic does make it a little difficult for me to read because I can finding it tiring. Audiobooks are great, however, I found that audiobooks don't help me as much as a writer. I recently finished listening to Kingfisher by Patricia McKillip and so many times, I so wanted to see her writing in front of me. She's a particular writing style that I wish I could mimic a little. I figure next book I read written by her, I need to get a hard copy.

Re: Writers, how much do you read?

#12
I spent many years reading voaciously and omnivorously.

Since a very bad and prolonged mental health episode, my concentration and energy are less than they used to be, and writing my own takes up a larger proportion than it used to, which leaves me with less to spend on other people's stories. When I do read, I tend to binge it obsessively to the end, and that can obviously be problematic. I also actually prefer real print books, but I'm often broke (and used bookstores are closing or getting less fun stuff). If I've immersed myself in someone else's world, there's always the risk that it will disrupt my ability to stay focused on my own work briefly.

That said, I'm following several fictions here that I'm thoroughly enjoying and keeping an eye out for others. I just might catch up every few chapters on most of them, when I'm already having a day that I'm caught up with appointments and errands and chores and not getting much writing done anyway. Reading on a site like this is a sort of low-key social activity. I had a few real-life people encourage me back when I was unsure whether to take writing seriously or not, and I like having a way to pay that forward (in, I admit, a much more casual way.) And, circumstances allowing, I still can't resist a wander in a used bookstore, even if my haul is usually a fraction of what it used to be.

Re: Writers, how much do you read?

#16
I try to read as much as I can. If I'm really immersed in a book, I can read multiple chapters in one day. But lately I've been reading The Witching Hour by Anne Rice, and the middle is starting to drag. So I'm lucky if I even get through a few pages. I find that the more I read, the easier it is to get my own writing done. Maybe seeing someone else's words on a page puts me in that creative zone.

Like others have mentioned, I also get story ideas from video games and movies (and music!). But for the technical aspects of writing, I think published books are an invaluable resource.

Re: Writers, how much do you read?

#17
See now, I kinda understand but I kinda don't. 

Here's the thing. Writing takes a lot of time, and so I can understand reading less or even giving up reading overall because you're always spending the time that you would spend reading, writing. 

However, I think reading is very good because authors aren't exactly great at judging their own work. When we read our stuff, we can't tell whether it's good or bad, so it's best for us to read other stuff that we enjoy and strive to be as good as it. 

Inspiration is a constant cycle. As writers, we are inspired by so many collective series and events, and I think that it is by reading good content that we can try to find out why it's so good, and do it ourselves. 

My own series is inspired by countless works that I found to be amazing and wanted to do something similar, but it's not just a copy and paste because I take little bits and pieces from all of them, combining it and executing it into something new. But most important is why something is good, not what. Why does the development of a certain character feel so natural and satisfying? Why is a certain development so surprising and astounding? How do you build up to stuff? When do you reveal things? What is your style and tone? Does it work well with how everything flows? Etc. 

Point here, we learn from 2 things. 1. Trial and error, and 2. Witnessing others. Trial and error, that is, writing things ourselves, is extremely important. However if we don't even know what we want to do, then how are we going to do it? Reading good works is important for every writer. 

Re: Writers, how much do you read?

#19

I Wrote: Unlike published authors who can take their time to write a book and can take long breaks between books, those who're serialized don't have that luxury.



I think there's a huge misconception about publishing here. I'm writing in Royal Road because the publishing grind is just as terrible. Most published authors barely make out their advance. They don't get to take time between books, either. They have to be on to the next one as soon as they've finished the first and go through the entire query and rejection process again, which can take months at a time. Most don't make a living from their writing, either. They have jobs, children, and college classes too. A great many also struggle to find time to read.

Only a handful of published authors have the kind of success that allows them to languish.

I came to Royal Road with my novel because I thought there had to be another way than trad publishing because it's all the work and none of the community of a web novel platform like Royal Road.

I do try to read and support other writers here, but it's come at the expense of reading published works, which I feel is also important. At some point I'll switch for a while. I consider reading a success if I can get one novel a month in while I'm actively writing.

For me, consuming storytelling media of all types is a way to refill the creative tanks I'm constantly emptying.