Reading has always been my favorite past time. I read to learn new things, even if it’s completely made up. I read to escape reality, which is often boring, uneventful, dull, and depressing. I read for adventure and to see new worlds. Most of the time, it’s not so much reading as it is watching the words come alive and dance before my eyes. It’s probably the reason I have such a vivid imagination. As a child I had very few friends and books were my place of peace.
Just recently I realized that books have become more than just a source of entertainment and escape. They have also become the bricks in my road to the magical world of publishing.
I have always lost myself in books. The world around me just melts away and I am thrown into a world where the impossible is what is expected. I easily forget that I am lying in bed or sitting in a comfy chair. I fly through magical clouds to lands of green grass and rainbow colored fish. I swim through rivers on the outskirts of a kingdom ruled by an evil king. I become the girl that saves the world. I also become the writer, studying the styles of writing in each book.
It’s like I have two people in my brain that sit down at their desk when I start to read. The first one’s job is to record what I am reading and play it back for me. This brain is in charge with keeping my eyes hovering over the words and to turn those words into pictures. The second one’s job is to watch for character development, punctuation, and to see how certain words are used. This second person is the one with the hard job, because he has to take note of all the fun things that make a writers work awesome and file it so I can come back to it later.
For most of my life the first guy has always had total control when I read. Which made the second guy’s job that much harder, but I felt safe there. Now that I know about the second guy, I try to give him a little up-front time every now and then. I pay more attention to sentence structure and detailed descriptions so that I can use that to make my own writing better.
Maybe it’s a side effect of having so much more time to write lately, or maybe I am just now feeling comfortable enough to allow the first person to take a break. Either way, I feel like reading is even more important now. Who better to learn from then your favorite authors. No one can show you how to break into the market better than the ones who are already there. I feel like I have already become a better writer just from paying more attention to what I read, and making sure I write something everyday.
Do any of you writers out there find yourselves paying attention to writing style while reading? I’m sure I can’t be the only one.