“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.

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. And lastly, Magnus Flyte – his… ummm their books have inspired me with their novels with a YA feel but for adults. Definitely a genre of writing that I see my work falling into.

As part of my moving forward, I have also decided to start writing book reviews. I never thought about it before, the importance of book reviews to writers, and then I found myself in a new habit of seeing interesting books on Instagram and then going and checking the reviews on Goodreads. I was astonished to realise that even bad reviews promote an author’s work. Reading and writing go hand in hand. Without readers there would be no writers.

“I can’t write without a reader. It’s precisely like a kiss—you can’t do it alone.” ― John Cheever

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