This post fills a duel role. It is part of the A to Z blogging challenge, but as it’s also the first Wednesday of the month, it’s time for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (ISWG). A monthly blog hop where writers talk about their insecurities or shout from the rooftops about how great the writing life is. You can sign up to the IWSG Here.
Last week I saw a question asked on Twitter – do you read the genre you’re writing in, while you are currently writing?
My answer to that was an honest one. I do continue to read crime fiction as I write and British crime fiction at that (as well as others). A discussion then ensued and I noted that I had read some absolutely brilliant crime fiction books as I was writing and it did at times, make me go into a dark place and make me wonder what the hell I was doing in trying to compete in this market place where books this brilliant were being produced.
The author who asked the question stated she just couldn’t read in her own genre while writing because it knocked her confidence. I could fully understand that.
But what about looking at it differently?
As writers we are always told to read and the advice is to read heavily in our own genre. Instead of feeling belittled by the wonderful books already out there on the shelves, be they actual or virtual, can we be inspired by the work? I know I have felt the hopelessness but there have also been times the polar opposite, where I’ve been reading a fantastic book and I’ve felt so enthused by it and wanted to be there, being read by others, that I’ve stopped reading and opened my laptop and added more words to my own manuscript, even if I thought I’d finished on it for the day.
If you write, do you read in the genre you write in as you’re writing?
Does reading in your own genre inspire or knock your confidence? And if knocked, how do you overcome this? I’d love to know as it’s very much a swings and roundabouts game for me.