Growing up, I struggled with dyslexia, which made it difficult for me to really enjoy reading. I found it interesting that I had always been a writer though. I think part of the dilemma was the types of books they give you in school to read. Now, I know my teacher friends out there are going to yell at me, but books that were written back in the 1920’s simply do not interest a young adult in high school nowadays. When I was a kid, the books we were given to read were so out of date, that understanding the books, especially with the addition of my learning challenge, became an all consuming, torturous task.
Now that I have learned to overcome my dyslexia challenge, for the most part, I LOVE to read. Lately I have been reading more and more books that are not in my genre and I believe that as a result of this, my writing is suffering, just a bit. Nothing major yet but not being submersed in the genre certainly takes its toll. My husband pointed out to me that I used to feverishly finish the books I was reading and then begin to zealously write until my fingers bled.
I read up on some pretty famous authors and some of them say to read EVERYTHING! I began to do that and must humbly disagree. I am not sure if it is my learning challenge or just my attention span, but if a book is not in my genre, it will take me forever to finish it. If a book is in my genre, I’ll devour it in two days…tops! When I was a young songwriter, I remember my dad saying to me, “You will have to choose a style. You will eventually write what you let inside.” Wise words, I must admit.
So, I think it is time to be honest with myself and love what I read as much as I love what I write. Books that take a running start off a cliff are certainly the ones that keep my attention. Romance, love, even forbidden desire are all on my list of must-reads and it is time I get back to it. So, Lilly and her family can rest assured that I will no longer leave them holding their breath, waiting for me to write their happy endings. I think I’ll just take a day off and read, read, read…