I love to read. Always have. I spent oodles of time at the public library going up. I even became a librarian. Books are amazingly great gateways to other worlds and adventures. On occasion, however, reading isn’t a good thing. At least for me.
As a writer, I cannot read the genre I am writing. I don’t want other author’s stories to linger in my head when I am trying to create my own. Reading in my genre interferes with my creative process. It also can wreak havoc on my confidence. I start thinking that the author I am reading writes so much better than I do, and things go downhill from there.
The problem is I have to read in my genre to keep current. Also because reading to a writer helps fill the well of creativity. Plus, people always ask what I’m reading and who do I recommend. So there’s always a struggle.
I get around it by reading mysteries, mainly with the occasional historical romance. They have elements of what I write but nothing that distracts me. It does make it a bit frustrating at times. Still, I always remind myself that having a clear mind is more important than reading the latest Janie Crouch. I’ll save her until I’m taking some time off.