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#IWSG How Does Reading Affect Writing?

Writing can be lonely and disheartening, and I’m thankful for our monthly support group to lift up writers everywhere. Alex Cavanaugh started the group and has a great admin team to keep it going.

Thank you to these intrepid co-hosts:


This month’s question:
It’s been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don’t enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?


I’ve only heard about how much reading can help writing, and I’ve experienced those benefits myself, so I disagree with the notion that reading may interfere with originality in writing. Our imaginations are infinite–even if we read an idea that inspires our own work, we will produce a much different take on the story than any other writer.

It is true that particular genres sometimes flood the market (like paranormal romance around the time of my debut novel in 2010), but this phenomenon is probably more about following trends than about too much reading.

How has voracious reading made your writing better? Here’s how it has helped me:

1) Familiarity with the genre helps me improve my story’s structure (including pacing, voice, length, characterization). 

2) Reading increases my vocabulary and clarity. Occasionally, I jot down words or phrases that resonate with me, like in the murder mystery Defending Jacob that I just finished reading. The author described a TV news van barnacled with satellite dishes and antennae–a cool description, I thought. 

3) Reading absolutely stimulates my writing! When I read an amazing book, I can’t wait to get back to my manuscript and try to create a teensy bit of magic myself.
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#IWSG Creative Pursuits Beyond Writing

Happy November, writers! Join our support group to encourage fellow writers and vent about the writing process at Alex Cavanaugh’s blog.

Thank you to this month’s awesome co-hosts. Congratulations in particular to Ellen Jacobson for her upcoming release, Bodies in the Boatyard. Anytime I start laughing simply from reading the dedication (“For cats everywhere who hate collars”), I know I’m in for an enjoyable read. I loved book one in the series: Murder at the Marina.


Co-Hosts: Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Ann V. Friend, JQ Rose, and Elizabeth Seckman

IWSG Day Question: How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?


Starting this writing adventure has helped me realize how important creativity is in my life. Aquarians born between January 20 and February 18, like me, are known to be creative. However, I never embraced my creative side until I started writing novels.

In addition to writing, I enjoy creative pursuits like Paint Nite and Pinterest recipes. Here are a few of my favorite creations:

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#IWSG Inspringration

Welcome to May’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group hosted by Alex Cavanaugh. It’s a great place to vent fears and encourage each other.


Make sure to visit May’s Co-Hosts:

May’s Question: It’s spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?

Thank goodness spring has sprung. These cold, cloudy days have been major downers. The longer daylight in spring often motivates many aspects of my life, including writing. 

I’m also inspired by different types of artists. Is anyone watching American Idol? I’m amazed by how much I enjoy the new season. Besides writing, creative pursuits like singing, cooking (in Chopped), and fashion design (in Project Runway) enthrall me.

Here’s a post that might interest you: Seven Ways to Build Your Writing Confidence.

Happy writing!