It’s probably a very typical response, but I became a writer because I loved to read. I guess it’s natural to want to become what you love. And today I find in the post a book package from the gorgeous Mandee, one of those lovable Vegan YA Nerds. Thanks Mandee! I continuously read while I write. Not only books far removed from what I write, but books smack bang in the middle of the YA spectrum.
I made a pact with myself early on that I never wanted to be one of those writers that had to be locked away in a sound-proof cork room in order to be able to write, and not be exposed to anyone else’s work. It was hard when I was younger and more impressionable. I do remember the phase when I used to write in a terrible stream-of-consciousness style (I had read far too much Faulkner) and that time I thought I was Charlotte Bronte. But as I become more established, basically just wrote more, something interesting happened. I became comfortable with my voice and my style. I knew who I was as a writer. So while I can read anything these days and feel inspired, awed and in love with someone else’s work, I can’t help but write the way I still do. And anyway, I don’t want to emulate anyone. I really want to be myself.
So my writing advice is to:
a) write lots. It is true, the more you write the better you get. And if you’re destined to be an author, you’l find yourself.
b) read lots. You will learn more about writing reading books per se than books about how to write.
PS – if you’re wondering what that chocolate bar is, it’s like a vegan version of a Mars Bar, but way more delicious, the mollassey taste of the caramel is to die for*
*unintended tie-in pun with the novel.