I've participated in some lively conversations lately about writers and reading. Some of the newer writers had been told that reading would hurt them, that they would lose their unique voice. That's such a myth.
Most writers receive their passion for writing from reading. While reading a good book, inspiration can come for how to write a better book. We can learn the art of ending a book on a hook, how to up suspense, how to develop characters the reader falls in love with. Fresh ideas can be found in books. One tiny thing can spark an idea for a new book with a unique twist.
Books change over the years. The books written twenty years ago, though fantastic stories, would be penned differently today. The story might not change, but the wording, the phrasing, the pace would change to keep up with the way readers expect to find books written in today's world.
So, reading is vital to a writer's health. Don't feel guilty about picking up a book and rewarding yourself for a reached goal. But, don't let yourself become bogged down in reading to the extent that you don't allow time to write.
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