Sunday, January 3, 2010


There's a quote going around the internet by the writer Stephen King which states in essence as a writer you should be reading two pages for every one you write. Or some such thing as I'm drawing it from memory and when I researched it, couldn't find it. (Quotes on the internet are elusive things that appear and disappear like wisps of smoke. You never truly know if they are real, but the essence sticks with you because you thought it was cool.) I'm sure someone will correct me.
The point being that most writers begin as readers. As children we consume books like candy. I, like many other book lovers, wanted to read every book in the library. I wanted to explore every story, to live lives imagined and real. When I first started writing, I was reading up to six books a week. I couldn't get enough and I think that is one of the things that pushed me into writing my own.
But lately I've found myself reading less and less. For a couple of reasons, the first being that when I have spare time, I want to spend it writing. The next being that after fifteen years in the business, I find myself more and more discriminant in what I read. I think, as I've said before, I know too much about the book business and emotions, rejections, unrealistic expectations cloud my reading experience. But I've found the less I read, the more my writing suffers. Funny, that, but reading is important to writing.
So, my resolution for this year is to rediscover reading with abandon. I have to read for my Master's program, but my goal is to read more than that. My goal is to read all the books on my shelf, to read as many debut novels as possible, to read in as many genre's as possible. In essence, my one resolution this year is to read in hopes of finding the lost joy, the lost wonder and bring it back into my life. I hope you'll join me. My ninth book, and second romantic suspense, DREAM MAN is out this week. You could start with that. :)
Here's to reading, may it bring joy to your life. Cheers!


Rosalind Adam said...

When I first started writing and going to creative writing classes it spoilt my enjoyment of books. I was spending too much time thinking about how they managed the plot, the changes of viewpoint, how they moved from one scene to the next. I found that I wasn't listening to the story at all. I'm enjoying books again now so maybe I've forgotten all the theory... or maybe I've just got used to it.

Good luck with your latest book.

Linda Rader said...

I have refound my interest in reading since I've discovered my own voice in my writing. I stopped reading for a while there while I wrote most. But you are right that reading does make ones own work better. Good resolution for the new year!

Joanne Elliott aka soulsprite said...

Congrats on your ninth book!

I'm planning on getting more reading in this year too. Good luck!

Eliza Evans said...

I've always been a voracious reader but since I went back to school my reading time has dropped precipitously.

I've made it a goal to read at least 25 pages of fiction a day. Hopefully that will keep me moving.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Rosalind, thanks for stopping by.I agree, it is hard to read for pleasure once you start to study fiction and tear it apart. :) Glad you were able to get over it.

Hi Linda, it's great to know your own voice. Some writers say that is the hardest thing to learn. Thanks for stopping by.

Hi Joanne, thanks. Here's to reading until the cows come home. :) Good luck to you as well.

Wow, Eliza, 25 pages a day is a good goal. I might have to try that. After I come back from residency, of course. There's no time to do any reading that week.

Jessica said...

I was like you, reading-wise. To read with abandon... LOL I'd love to remember what that feels like. Ha!
I enjoy books still, but now I have way less time to read. I'm thankful for that quote though, because I've felt guilty for reading more than writing. Now I don't. LOL!

Linda Kage said...

Oh, I like that thought. Reading helps your writing. Well, my writing should improve soon because I've just gone on a major reading binge... and you know what started it? Dream Man by Nancy J. Parra.

Thank you, Nancy!

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Jessica, yes, the guilt should be gone. Now you are reading to improve your writing. :)

Hi Linda, thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed Dream Man. I can't wait to jump into Stillborrow Crush!


Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I've been reading less as well and it's relly started to bug me. I'm determinded to find more reading time this year. I want to catch up and read all the books on my want-to-read list, including Dream Man.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Thanks Jane, I hope you enjoy your reading! :)