Now that we’re safely past the end of the year wrap-ups and new year resolution posts, I can move on without obsessing over either. Well, okay, just a little obsession. There were no end of year lists or greatest hits for me. I don’t have anything to recount. I listened to older music, read a hell of a lot of books in all genres—Kindle Unlimited is to thank for that, and emails that offer books in genres I like. There are plenty of free and cheap books that offer a quality read. Saves my money for buying even more books I covet.
I also picked up a lot of poetry books at end of year sales. Reading is stocked for the new year. The great thing about all the reading I do is I’m not tempted to look at the news. Much. Sometimes I get sucked in just to run screaming at the idiocy of it all. And bad journalism.
One thing reading a lot does is give you a keen sense of what good writing is, and what’s not working. It’s been valuable as I final edit my manuscripts, and not just from reading fantasy. All genres have something to offer for writing novels, even non-fiction. Poetry brain also latches on to a deft turn of phrase. I found interspersing poetry with novels helped me do more writing. Not sure why that is, but I find poetry rejuvenating in the crazy world that is COVID.
The hardest part has been reading things totally out of my comfort zone and gathering the gems from them. My instinct is to put up a wall. I don’t like horror, not interested in thrillers, mysteries do nothing for me. But still, I read them now and then. Unfortunately, it’s often to enforce the idea I still don’t like them. I keep thinking they’ve changed since I last read one. Or I have. Recommendations from friends tend to get me more interested in picking up a book I might have passed by due to my prejudices.
On to my New Year’s resolution that’s not a resolution. More an affirmation. Keep reading. Read everything. Suck it up, and then when I go to write, hope that all the good stuff stuck and is reflected in my work. I’ve made reading a habit, and it’s stuck. If you don’t feel like reading, don’t. Use the time to daydream instead. It’s valid also and helps your brain. For me, reading is my brain prewriting. So I read widely, and assume everything is valuable. Everything IS valuable, and even the smallest change can have deep consequences, if the past year has taught us anything, it’s that.