At the beginning of this year, I was ready to write the last 60,000 words of a novel. Me, my laptop, and my research were tucked away in a tropical paradise, but the words I was writing, they were reading like they’d been spewed out of a meat grinder.
I decided to take the day off and finish the book I was reading instead. A few pages in, I realized I had no interest in finishing the book in question. The prose was uninspired, as was I. I DNR’d it and spent the evening scouring book reviews and trialing first pages using Amazon and B&N’s preview features. Not all books in their online catalogs let you to do this, but most allow you to click a corner of the book to try before you buy. I settled on two books in my genre, recently published and lauded by both critics and readers. And most importantly, I loved what I was reading.
The next day, I read a chapter of each, then opened my manuscript. I’m not saying the new stuff I wrote didn’t need revising, but I felt so much better about my work.
My point is, if you’re having a low self-esteem writing or revising day, maybe you’re not the problem; maybe the book you’re reading is. A lot of authors invest time in curating song playlists to accompany writing sessions. I posit that we should put some of that energy into curating the stories and prose we fall asleep with ahead of big writing/revising days.
Have you ever paid attention to what you’re reading while you’re writing? Does curating a reading-while-writing list sound like something you’d like to try? Talk to me in the comments. 🙂
I wrote this post for the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop. To continue hopping or to join the hop, click here. (There are more than 200 of us, and it’s fun!)