So what do you read while you’re in the middle of a writing project? From my personal experience, and some research and reading of other blogs/articles on the topic, there seem to be several different schools of thought on this topic.
Read in your Genre
If you want to know what’s popular in the genre that you’re writing, then read some recent books. Learn about popular tropes, what current readers expect or enjoy out of that genre, average acceptable story length, and so on. After all, how can you expect to write a cozy mystery or a sword-and-sorcery tale if you’ve never read one (or a few) before?
Read outside your Genre
While it’s important to read what you’re writing, sometimes your brain needs a break. Also, you don’t want to get so bogged down in other people’s stories that you lose sight of what you’re trying to convey with your own. This can sometimes happen if you read too much of the genre that you’re currently writing in. If you’re struggling with this, then give your brain a break and read something completely different.
Read Writing Craft Books
Of course. Even the best writer is always learning. Keep your skills sharp by always writing, and by always learning from other writers.
Read Books for Research for your WIP
Ah, research – one of a writer’s favorite tools of procrastination. But seriously – whether you’re writing a contemporary story that takes place in a location you’ve never been to, a historical epic, or a sci-fi thriller full of science and technical jargon, research makes the story stronger.
Regardless of what you read (or don’t read) while you’re writing, I do believe in that old adage that writers are readers. Generally speaking, the more well-read you are, the more you have to draw on to improve and enhance you own writing.
So keep reading and keep writing!