Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG February

January was full of writing. Then suddenly, here we are two months into the new year and another first Wednesday of the month...which means it's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post.

This month's question is: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

Short answer: Reading isn't as much fun as it used to be.

Why? It's hard to turn the editor off and sink into a story. I'm much more critical than I used to be. Stories I might have given three chapters to grab me, I now give one. Stories I would have finished just because I started reading them, now get set aside unfinished. Maybe part of that is probably due to getting older and less tolerant and not having as much free time.

I get very frustrated when characters do something illogical, when plots revolve around the fact that two characters simply misunderstood or didn't talk to one another, when there's too damn much description, nothing significant happens for pages on end or there's a freaking thirty page glossary and appendix at the end of a romance novel. Just no. 

Things I would have shrugged off, overlooked, or let go before I started seriously writing, are now roadblocks to enjoyment. 

On the positive side of things, I do better appreciate a masterful plot, well-written description, and character interactions. Aspects of the story, that as a general reader I would have simply enjoyed and sped along, now stand out because I'm watching for them.

One last insight on this is that I don't read as much as I used to. Because I'm writing during that time. Ah, the perils of productive time usage, or attempts thereof.


  1. Hi Jean - if I get stuck in a book ... I'm there and can't break off! So I don't read often ... but have the third of a trilogy to read. Cheers and good luck - Hilary

  2. I think I'm a much more critical reader than I used to be, too. But, like you said, it makes me appreciate the good things all the more. :)

  3. Hello, Jean. Yup, yup, and yup. Good point about how the best bits shine more brightly amid the dross, now that we know how it's (supposed to be) done.

  4. I have been thinking about this a LOT lately as I scramble to try to make up for all the reading I should have been doing over the past few years. It's gotten especially worse since I dived into the editing/revision process for the first time. I keep silently clicking my tongue at all of the clich├ęs and heavy-handed descriptions I come across, often rereading the particularly bothersome lines in the way I would have worded them.

    I also struggle with finding time to read when I'm dedicating more and more free time to my own writing. Oh, that pesky day job!

  5. Being a writer has change the reading experience, but for me it has also given more respect and compassion overall toward writers. However, it the story is hard to get into because of structural problems, plot or character I do struggle with it.

    Great post
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

  6. I don't finish books that aren't very good either. There are too many good ones out there. Why slog through a bad one?


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