“Readers are not sheep, and not every pen tempts them.” ― Vladimir Nabokov
Instagram changed my reading world. For a few years I barely read, bored with the romance I had been addicted to my high school years and somewhat removed from what was available out there (again I am going to say that the why is for another day). When I opened my Instagram account I didn’t really know what it was all about. And then I discovered the bookstagram world. I have now read more in one year than in a few past years combined. I also discovered a network of writers who inspire me on a daily basis. From aspiring writers like myself to those who are published and successful.
As an aspiring writer, one of the writing tips, I have seen repeated by all, is to read, read and then read some more. And it is true, reading has changed my writing, improving it and left me inspired and motivated.
I have discovered three authors, who I had not previously read, who have influenced my writing the most over the last year. Firstly, Sally Andrew – she is a local South African author whose writing I fell in love with. Besides for her humour and distinctive writing style, her writing made me realise how much I love the local flavour that is so unique to us and how I not only want to, but need to, incorporate it into my own writing. Secondly, there is Jackson Pierce – she has awakened my love for fairy tale retellings. I love seeing the old stories we know and love in a modern setting with unique twists and turns. And lastly, Magnus Flyte – his… ummm their books have inspired me with their novels with a YA feel but for adults. Definitely a genre that I see my own work falling into.
As part of upping my game, I have also decided to start writing book reviews. I never thought about it before, the importance of book reviews to writers, in fact they actually scared me a bit, and then I found myself seeing interesting books on Instagram and then going and checking the reviews on Goodreads. I never realised how much reviews, even bad reviews, promote an author’s work. Reading and writing go hand in hand. Without readers there would be no writers.
As for my writing – I will confess that procrastination seems to be getting the better of me and I have not been writing nearly as much as I know I am capable of. I could make excuses about time and the busyness of life but honestly they would be just that, excuses. I have taken a step forward however and am going on a Writer’s Retreat in October which will hopefully help me find my focus. The mere idea of it has me not only feeling excited but inspired. A step in the right direction.
“I can’t write without a reader. It’s precisely like a kiss—you can’t do it alone.” ― John Cheever