After diving into writing fiction, I realized something that should be obvious, but isn’t. Writers aren’t any different than any other readers. We’re usually just the readers who got bored waiting for our favorite author’s next book to come out, so we wrote our own and got stuck with the job.
For instance, you (as I did) probably think this photo is how most authors look. Wild-haired, crooked glasses, surprised at the intrusion on our writing time, and clad in something fuzzy and comfortable. The classic crazy writer, right?
Actually… you’re pretty close, to tell you the truth. The crazy part, especially. It’s 102 degrees outside and I’m wearing a sweater just for this photo. That’s officially over the ‘insanity’ line. Oh, and I don’t need glasses up close… they’re just for effect. As far as you know.
So maybe that was a bad example. But the point still stands; we writers are still readers. As Stephen King said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write”. Take a look in on any author you might happen to know and you’ll find them either busily writing a book, or curled up reading one.
You know why I love my Kindle? Because people get upset when you try to take 500 paperbacks on a road-trip. My favorite solution to writer’s block? Plunking myself down on my bed (after clearing it of stacked books) and reading a bit of Chesterton or Wodehouse. Their snappy humor clears my foggy writer’s brain fast.
Guess why so many author appearances are in bookstores? It’s not ’cause that’s where their books are. It’s ’cause that’s where the OTHER book are! Once all the signing and talking is done, that author is going to disappear into those rows of shelves and do his level best never to come out again.
So, next time you see a favorite author… recommend a book for them to read. Ask what they’re reading right now. Heck, offer to buy them a book! Writers are readers, too!