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     I have an easy question for you. Does anyone feel that it is hard to be a reader and a writer. If not, how much do you read in contrast to how much time you write. For me, I don't have time to read because I am writing and do the family thing with a wife of fifteen years, and six kids, five at home. I have two books right now that I would like to read, but just too busy. And, don't get me started on marketing Book I. That just means that much less time to read. And, then there is actually working for a living through a job, which I am trying to find right now. As we all know as writers or authors that there are just too many of us out there now for our writing to be profitable early on. To such extents that it almost feels as though you have to know someone to get published. I want to believe that my love for writing will make me an awesome living, gain favor with many, but I have to be real, and honest with myself, I am not special. We're all racing for the writing gold.

     Anyway, I guess my real question is this. Does one actually have to be a reader to be a writer or author? My thoughts are that no. And, although I do read, I don't even write for the genre I read.

 

GD Thompson, Sr.

Author of The Angel Chronicles Book I Angel in the Darkness

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I can only say that, for me, I have to make time to read every day. I started out as a reader long before I actually became a writer. I love a mystery; that's what I read and that's what I write. I can't imagine doing it any other way

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From my perspective and from what's been drilled into my head from years of professors and other professionals, "great readers make great writers".  But that being said, the two do not necessarily happen at the same time. I know that when I am in the middle of a really great book, or two, or three, my writing is affected by it.  When writing it works best for me to focus only on what I am writing and put the reading aside for the time being.  The last thing I want is for plots, themes or characters from what I'm reading make appearances in what I'm writing. The whole process is a very personal one and truly unique for each person.  Finds what works for you then go with it.

Hi there GD,

I guess the answer for me is that it depends on what you are writing and what you are reading. I started writing back in 2004 and initially wrote only poetry. I then stated writing short stories as well a couple of years later. Like you I have a full time job, as a design engineer, which takes up most of my time. I also have health issues which mean that i sleep for an awful lot of hours too in order to re-charge my batteries so that I can mange to do the hours at work. I have 3 kids and 3 grandkids who are all gorgeous and I spend as much time as possible with them. what I have found over time is that when I was just writing all the time, which I did for the best part of 4 years, my writing didn't really progress because I was writing at the same standard on different subjects. I then started to read more short stories because that helped me to work out what was being read in that market. I still wasn't getting anywhere with my poetry in terms of publication and couldn't understand why until I picked up a couple of contemporary poetry magazines and realised that I couldn't understand any of the poems in them. That was when it dawned on me that I needed to read a lot more contemporary poetry to understand what is currently deemed publishable. I now read avidy and find that although I am writing a lesser volume of poems myself, the ones that I do write are generally meeting with greater acceptance and I am gradually getting published in magazines as well as claiming joint 4th prize in last year's Hastings Internaional Poetry Competition. In conclusion my advice would be that you do need a balance of reading and writing to provide you with a reality check that what you are producing has at least some publication potential.

All best wishes

Dave

Honestly, I don't keep track of which one I do, or set time aside for one or the other. I'm definitely an "as the wind blows" kind of guy. Today I might be in the mood to read, and then half way through a chapter get the bug to sit down and write. Its all on what I'm in the mood for. If I'm not in the mood, I'm not going to make myself do it. The good news is that I don't do much of anything else, so at the very least, its always either writing or reading.

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