Okay writers, you've all heard the advice, right? Read a lot and be sure to include books that are NOT in your genre. But how many of us actually do that?
I confess, I tend to choose books that are in the same genre in which I write, which is YA spec fiction. Now I didn't always do that. Of course, I've always gravitated toward science fiction and fantasy, but I've also read romance (contemporary and historical), thrillers, and mysteries. I've never been too much of a fan of pure literary works (sorry to those who do enjoy them, but it's just not my thing) and I've never really been into non-fiction. Over the past year, I've pretty much stayed to the YA novels, with one exception. I love James Rollins, who writes thrillers, and usually try to pick up his books when they are released.
But something about my current WIP has me down lately. The past two chapters have been very dark and depressing, and I've made very little progress with the writing there (yeah I know, bad writer). Anyway, I was in the mood for something more uplifting and without the usual teen angst that comes with YA, so I wandered over to the romance section at Barnes and Noble last week. And I found the newest release by an author that I used to read all of the time: Julia Quinn. She writes historical romances set in England during the Regency Era. Anyways, I ended up buying What Happens In London and I'm really enjoying it right now. I had forgotten how funny her books can be (she always includes an element of humor in her stories).
Now I'm a little less than halfway through, but something positive is happening. I'm finding myself actually thinking about my book again. Shocking, I know:) But folks, I was at the point where I didn't even want to open the word document to look at my ms anymore. I mean, the bad things happening in there was pulling me down. So I guess the change of scenery (literally) that I'm getting from Ms. Quinn's book is giving me a breather, and now I'm able to concentrate on my book again. I have to get the thing finished sometime, right?
Do you find yourself reading books in different genres? Why or why not? Do you find that reading different types of books helps your own writing?