You don’t like romance? How do you know? Fuck off and go read some.
ABR: Always Be Reading
A writer who doesn’t read is like a filmmaker who only plays video games. You’re like a chef who only eats protein paste, a dog trainer who only owns cats, a sex educator who’s never done the rumpy-pumpy and in fact is so ashamed of your own genital configuration you only handle your pink parts in the dark and with gardening gloves.
The foundation of your creativity is made of books.
So: read books. A lot of books. Done that one? PICK UP ANOTHER.
ABRW: Always Be Reading Widely
I know. You want to read what you want to read. You love horror, and by golly you want to write horror, too — so you read a lot of it. That’s cool. You should. But you should also read fantasy. And literary. And classics. You should read Joyce. And one or both Brontes. And Toni Morrison. I don’t mean these writers specifically — I just mean, you need a varied diet. You have a comfort zone. That comfort zone has soft, cushy walls. You need to hack into those walls with a machete. Find out what makes them comfy. Leave the sanctity of your padded cell. See what else the asylum has to offer. A limited diet of reading means all you can do is write the same thing you’re reading. You’re a copy machine spitting out facsimiles. You’re chasing someone else’s tail. As I’ve said before: you’re just a literary human centipede.
You don’t like romance? How do you know? Fuck off and go read some. Maybe you still won’t like it. But it’s important to read it anyway. Liking it isn’t part of the equation. Which leads me to:
Read To Understand
Read not to be entertained, but to be enlightened. Read not to be comforted, but to be challenged. Read to be disturbed, bewildered, saddened, disgusted. Read to understand.
Image: Random tumblr