Why You Should Read a Different Genre Than You Write

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If you’re writing a specific genre you might be inclined to lean into the curve and focus on just reading that genre. To me this is one mistake that all writers should avoid. Sure you want to read stories similar to the ones you want to write, but every story has something to teach us, no matter what its genre is. Focusing your scope on one particular thing can be problematic for three specific reasons.

 

Boredom

Eating your favorite food everyday may be exciting at first but eventually the specialness wears off and becomes routine. Any subject can begin to feel lackluster and unexciting if you focus every bit of your attention on it. So vary your reading and read as widely as you can.

 

Boredom

It’s easy to get bored reading the same thing over and over again, and that makes drawing inspiration for your own writing difficult as well. Inspiration comes from everywhere so why limit your possibilities. Let Victorian fiction inspire your YA or Dr. Seuss make your literary novel all the better.

 

Boredom

The first boredom refers to your own boredom as a reader. The second your boredom as a writer. This third boredom refers to your future reader’s boredom. Your future readers will appreciate a book that understands action, romance, plot, imagination, dialogue and conflict. Sure you can find elements of all those in one genre but wouldn’t it be better to learn romance from romance or suspense from masterful suspense writers. The best way to get a good concept of all the elements of great literature is to read as many books as you can. Regardless of genre.

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