Writers need to be readers too!

by | Uncategorized | 14 comments


From the time I learned to read in first grade, I was hooked on books. Reading became my escape when life became topsy-turvy. Books have been a mainstay in life for as long as I can remember. When we were little, my mother used to read to us all the time.

I’ve read to my boys since they were infants. I’m thankful they love reading as much as I do. Every year they receive books as gifts for birthdays, Christmas, and upon my return from the ACFW conference.

For me, a life without books is too hard to comprehend.

Imagine my surprise when a fellow writer commented she didn’t have time to read. With her busy schedule, finding time to write was a challenge.

I can understand that. We’re all busy. I don’t know anyone who isn’t. And our time is what we make it. I don’t know what happens in my friend’s life minute by minute, but I do believe if she wanted to read, she could find stolen moments to do it.

For me, I read every night before bed. I head to bed half an hour before lights out, and pick up the latest book on my headboard. Last night, I just finished Point of No Return by Susan May Warren. Confession time here–I read past my bedtime. I had just two chapters left and had to read the ending. After reading, I sighed in contentment over another wonderful SMW novel. Reading Point of No Return made me want to go back and re-read In Sheep’s Clothing and Wiser Than Serpents to visit with those wonderful secondary characters from Point whose stories were developed in Wiser Than Serpents.

Reading is an escape. Those characters aren’t calling to me for dinner or to help find that misplaced paper. Reading gives me time to myself. Women, particularly moms, tend to care for everyone else and care for themselves last. Reading expands my knowledge. I’ve learned a lot by reading novels–different topics I normally wouldn’t choose to research.

Reading as a writer helps me to analyze how best selling authors craft their words to create those stories that linger in my thoughts long after I’ve finished the book. This past week, my Ponderer friend Alena blogged on the MBT Ponderers blog about analyzing authors’ writing techniques. She provided terrific information for writers to consider. In the comments section, I mentioned how the thought of writing in a book horrified me, but then I realized it’s part of my learning process of becoming a better writer.

Your turn: Do you read on a daily basis? What book are you currently reading now? How do you use published novels to help you in your writing journey?

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  1. Sherrinda

    Oh we could be twins! I have read all my life, nose stuck between the printed page, lost in other worlds and other lives. I cannot imagine NOT reading and I also read before I turn out the light! It is a great way to end the day, don't you think?

    I am reading The Sharpshooter by Mary Connealy right now, which is really good. I do find that I read with a more critical eye now, though I don't think I could ever write in a book! Though, now that I have a Kindle, you can add notes to books, so that may be a great option for me. Hhhmmmm…

    Great post!

  2. Jessica R. Patch

    I love to read, and I do it every single day. I carve time out because I love to do it. I find sitting in the car rider line to pick my kids up is a good thirty minutes and at night before bed.

    I love to read how authors describe, what language they use to do it, how they set up their scenes and end them, leaving me wanting more. I also happen to love SMW! I can't imagine not reading! I'm reading Randy Singer's The Justice Game at the moment. Have a great weekend.

  3. Katie Ganshert

    Yep! I'm always reading something. It feeds my muse.

  4. T. Anne

    I love to read and I'll read just about anything. I just checked out a bunch of YA from the library.

  5. Terri Tiffany

    I am reading craft books right now but have to get myself some good fiction soon!

  6. Melissa Tagg

    I was the girl that shirked my textbooks in college to keep up with my novel reading! I read everyday. Just finished Jenny B Jones' Save the Date. Loved it. Now on to Rachel Hauck and Sara Evans' Softly and Tenderly. 🙂

  7. Ann Best

    I came over from Terri Tiffany's to meet you. Glad I did! This is a beautiful post and a lovely post.

    Yes, without readers, what need for books? But when you're deep into writing, it's difficult to find time to read; however, I think one can always find moments here and there. I have books by blog followers lined up to read, I started White Oleander after seeing the movie, and I have books on my list to read that were published by the company that's about to publish my memoir. And I love to read Christian/inspirational novels. My favorite that I've recently read in this genre is Jody Hedlund's The Preacher's Bride.
    Ann Best, Author

  8. Lisa Jordan

    Sherrinda, I have a couple of Mary's books in my To Be Read pile. I look forward to reading them. Her Seeker posts always make me laugh, so I'm sure her books will be even more enjoyable. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Lisa Jordan

    Jessica, when I'm traveling, I borrow audiobooks from the library and listen to them in the car. That way I can enjoy the stories and pass the time. 🙂

  10. Lisa Jordan

    Katie, muse feeding is essential to writers. 🙂

  11. Lisa Jordan

    T. Anne, I haven't read any YA yet, but I have a couple in my To Be Read pile. Who are your favorite YA authors?

  12. Lisa Jordan

    Terri, what's your favorite craft book?

  13. Lisa Jordan

    MTagg, did you like Save the Date? I have that coming in February to read.

  14. Lisa Jordan

    Ann, so nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by. I haven't read Jody's book yet, but I'm looking forward to doing it soon!