Thursday, March 26, 2015

A writer’s diet

People are always shocked when I tell them that I don’t read for pleasure any longer. I simply don’t have the time. I have two young children and when they’re out of the house, I write.

That’s not to say I don’t read, but the books I read are associated with what I am writing – biographies and autobiographies of the real people in my novels. And i do enjoy them. But it has been a while since I have read a work of fiction for pleasure.
A small collection of books I have had to devour
in order to write my novels.
For a long time this concerned me because before I had children, I read all the time. I would consume two novels a week. As I saw it, reading and writing went hand in hand. For an author to remain creative, their imagination must be fed. I believed all authors should be nourished by a colourful buffet of fiction and non-fiction, meaning my current diet is severely lacking. Click here for Jenni Curry’s take on this dilemma.
How's your literary diet?
However, my publisher recently eased my mind. She told me that many authors refuse to read while they’re writing, fearful they might unconsciously steal another writer’s ideas and images. They prefer to keep temptation well out of reach.

I don’t think I’m one of those writers and probably, once my children are older and I have more time to myself, I will begin reading for pleasure again. But until then I am on a strict diet...

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