I realized around the first of this year that I hadn’t been doing
much enough recreational fiction reading. I’m not sure what that happened, but in the latter half of 2013, I quit reading much. I read way too much a lot online, but that’s mostly news or fluff. I don’t even read much in the way of craft-related blogs. I’m making an effort to change both issues though.
On the craft-related side, I’ve rearranged my UStart page, one of the four(!) that I have set as my browser start-up pages. It’s basically an RSS aggregator/reader that replaced my iGoogle page when Google killed it. Last week, I dumped some of the news feeds and added a few indie publishing and writing blogs (Insecure Writers Support Group, Lindsay Buroker, and Indies Unlimited, to name three of them.) I’m always open to good blog suggestions, by the way.
For fiction, I really need to read more. I’ve found it really helps prime the pump. When I see what’s out there, it helps motivate me to get more work done. I’ve got several good ideas, and they’re starting to gel into a series idea. Plus, Danny Cumberland seems to have more to tell me. I keep hearing him and Dani whispering in my ear, but right now it’s more of a “Don’t forget about us” thought than “Here’s the next part of our story.” I just need to give them time to figure out what they have to say.
But I have been reading. Nothing that I’ve read recently is all that new, because I’m still a poor, struggling father of eight and a new author, so I still get most of my books from the free stuff at Pixel of Ink, and not many of the free books there are new. Still, I’ve been reading, and if I read, I should review what I read, both for the readers and my fellow authors. Reviews let the readers know what people think of what’s out there. For the authors, it’s one thing to see the stars add up on Amazon and Goodreads, but it’s even more rewarding to read what people actually think about your writing. Usually, anyway. Or so I’m told.
So I’m going to make a conscious effort to read more, but more importantly to talk about what I’m reading. The reviews won’t be long in the beginning, but I’ll work on that. Part of being able to write a good review is the ability to analyze a work, and learning to do that for another author will ultimately help me become a better author. Eventually, everyone wins. That’s the plan, anyway.