Thursday, July 21, 2005

Reading at all times has come to be essential for me. It's funny because as a child, I read avidly. When I started college, my reading became textbooks and technical reading only. Then after college while working as an engineer, the extracurricular reading was all techinical. Books by Steven Covey, books on continuous improvement, kaizen, team building, flow processes, work personalities, change agents...yep, I know you're salivating over these book topics right about now, aren't you? LOL While I wasn't reading fiction, I was still reading avidly. I spent much of my spare time reading, just books to improve my career. Then, when I decided to write my first book in 2003, I decided to get back to reading too. It was actually a struggle at first because I wasn't familiar with ANY current day writers and genres because I hadn't read non-technical books as an adult. So, I slowly just started picking up books to read, started reading book magazines, and book newsletters. Now I'm at the point where I HAVE to read non-technical everyday.

I'm also letting my tastes run their course and checking out what pulls me. Being a fiction writer, I find it odd that I enjoy reading more non-fiction books that fiction. A lot of the books I've just finished reading have been books from the civil rights era: Malcolm X, Assata, A Taste of Power. I also very much enjoy old school African American fiction and James Baldwin has become a favorite. I also like Ralph Ellision and Richard Wright. I also read spiritual books daily. I've read books like The Power of Intention, Spiritual Intelligence, The Celestine Prophecy, Personal Power through Awareness. I'm currently reading The Four Agreements.

I do read fiction though (although to a lesser extent) and I like reading the genre that I write in. Right now, I'm reading Always the Bridesmaid by Leslie Lyles. I enjoy books by Jennifer Weiner. I love her wittiness. Next, I'm planning to read The Wife of Reilly by Jennifer Coburn and I also have Candace Busnell's upcoming September release, Lipstick Jungle. Dying to rip into that one.

Lastly, I read for study. It seems I'm always reading a book on writing instruction. I recently finished Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. I started Stephen King on Writing and I have Writing Down to the Bones that I want to read as well. Periodically, I'll read books on various parts of the writing, such as characters, plot, structure, and overall novel writing books. And I read anthologies on the study of writing to study various parts and themes. Right now, I'm reading The Norton Introduction to Literature and The Norton's Anthology of Short Fiction. I love this Short Fiction Anthology because it is packed with writers that I've heard about and want to read. This anthology is giving me a chance to get a little piece of them until I can get around to reading more of their works. It's like a little intro. I LOVE that book!

And um, as you can probably guess, I'm finding that if I don't discipline myself, yes, the reading can interfere with writing and meeting my deadlines. So, with all that I want to read, I find that I have to set reading times. So I start my day with a spiritual reading. Since I have a deadline now, I go right into writing my book after that. But before, I was doing study reading before writing (and I still may do it now if the writing is starting off slow). After meeting my daily writing goal, I may do some non-fiction reading. I take my fiction with me to the gym and everywhere else and read during downtime and I read fiction before going to bed. Still, there doesn't seem to be enough time in the day...


princessdominique Fri Jul 22, 08:22:00 AM EDT  

Great reading choices Cherlyn. I agree with you too, for a fiction writer I lean towards not necessarily non-fiction but poetry.

Jill Fri Jul 22, 11:09:00 AM EDT  

Reading is a true joy of life to me. I LOVED King's On Writing. What did you think?

Suzanne Fri Jul 22, 05:06:00 PM EDT  

I love Candace Bushnell! Very different from most of what I read, but I enjoy her. And I love Sex and the City!

Cherlyn Michaels Sun Jul 24, 11:48:00 PM EDT  

Hey Jill,

I'm loving On Writing so far, but I haven't finished it yet. I'm anxious to finish and I'll share my thoughts when I am!

Cherlyn Michaels Sun Jul 24, 11:50:00 PM EDT  

I saw only a few episodes of Sex and the City. I enjoyed it when I did see it. It's just that I'm not much of a TV watcher. I'm catching some of the re-runs now on TV, but it's only when I'm flipping channels and see that it's on. I know, I need to watch more TV! I'm dying to read her book though. :-)