I’m always amazed by the number of would-be writers who say that they never read other people’s work. Apparently, they don’t have time!
I don’t believe you can be a writer if you don’t read…anything and everything, omnivorously. It doesn’t matter whether it’s pulp or classical literature; fiction or non-fiction; e-books or paper based. If you don’t read other people’s work you’re not giving yourself the tools you need to write.
The best way of getting inspiration and improving your style is to see how various other people use words. You can then start playing with and manipulating your own writing and you’ll soon start to sense an improvement. And there’s no excuse not to with the amount of free fiction and non-fiction available on the Internet.
OK, lecture over. It’s probably time to climb down off my hobby horse!
But if you’re already writing regularly but need a bit of help finding markets for your work, check out the Freelance Market News website. The Editor, Angel Cox, has added some useful resources, including associations and societies that you can join; literary festivals to attend; competitions to enter; literary magazines that accept freelance work and useful sites for writers. And a big plus is that if you subscribe you’ll be eligible for a free appraisal of your work – poetry or prose. Let me know your views on the reading/writing debate, and until next week…