“‘If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot…reading is the creative center of a writer’s life…you cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.” -Stephen King
In lieu of anything better to really write about at this moment, I went searching for a quote and stumbled upon this one, which I decided a liked quite a bit (I almost typed quote a bit, which would have been an unacceptable and terrible pun, yet I still share it). This is partly because I was recently swept away by two novels (A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin and Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan), and it has certainly improved my writing (especially in the case of Martin’s series). My own work has taken on the grandeur and detail that I found in those books, unabashed literary magpie that I am.
And it also got me thinking a little.
What are some of the books that you’ve read that have completely swept you away, and made you a better writer? Do you agree with King that to be a writer of merit, you should not only write a lot, but read a lot as well? I know I’m in that camp. Who can refuse an easy excuse to keep your nose shoved in a book so you can merely call it researching your craft? I also read everything…I’m valiantly trying to struggle through a book that I find almost painfully boring, just because I think you can learn from both good books and bad books. Especially bad books. The more you read, the more perspective you have, the more you understand what other authors are doing, the more you can decide and build what you yourself want to do.
So, if you’ll excuse me now, I’ve got a book in the other room calling my name.