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How’s Your Writer’s Reading Life?
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Devoted writers typically start out as devoted readers. While no one can, over a short interval, cover every possible type of both writing and reading opportunity available, a freelance writer should aim over an interval of time to cover a wide range of reading materials.

Many writers, as they become successful freelancers, continue to read for enjoyment. However, there are many other types of reading that the writer can benefit from as the writer seeks to develop a freelance career. And, even within enjoyment reading some writers tend to stick with a favorite genre or two and other writers make a point to read more broadly.

How broad is your writer’s reading perspective?

Additionally, a writer should aim to include some informational reading within the range of freelance business activities. Also dealing with a broader perspective in reading: in terms of informational reading, a writer building a freelance business should neither limit their informational reading to writing-related informational reading nor to the reading of full-length books. Many successful freelance writers have valuable short reports on offer, or have created useful blogs. In some instances, professional freelance writers offer certain reports for free: they do this sometimes as a promotional come-on or sometimes with older reports.

So, what should your reading include over an interval?

Certainly, you should seek to read for enjoyment in your preferred genre. The first two places to broad your reading experiences, if you are not already doing so, is to expand your reading habits into what we might call neighboring genres. For example, if you enjoy contemporary romance you might try romantic suspense, historical romance, or time travel romance. If you enjoy mysteries, you might try the neighboring genre of suspense. A third way you can expand your enjoyment reading is to seek out a different length of novel in your genre. For example, if you read full-length mysteries you might try the shorter ones like the minute mysteries or the old Ellery Queen series. Romance fans can sometimes find novella length stories: often in compilation of two or more stories in one bound volume. Such compilations may have stories by one author or more than one.

Other ways to expand your enjoyment reading include trying an entirely different genre, or trying older (or newer) books in the genre than you normally read.

At some point in their reading life, writers should have at least some exposure to classic works of literature: including Shakespeare. Again, too much literature exists to cover it all even over the course of a lifetime, but a good survey of English language classics helps the writer to develop skills by studying the work of those authors that time has identified as deserving of the classification of their work as “classic literature.”

On the business side of the equation, writers should obviously read about the areas of craft that most interest them. You can find valuable books by experts in almost any area of writing that deal with the craft of creating books or short stories that compel and affect the reader. You may be able to find some in your library. Here again, though, do not overlook the shorter reports and e-books that some recognized writers have made available for small fees and sometimes for free.

Writers should not limit their business-related writing to strictly writing-related material, however. You can find some excellent ideas about building a freelance business that deal with freelancing in a broader-based way such as including other kinds of freelancing such as transcription and mystery shopping. You can find many excellent such books inexpensively by checking for used books on Amazon.

Additionally, books dealing generally with job searches, networking, cold calling and other ways of finding work opportunities can prove valuable in building your freelance business.

Finally, your reading routine should include reading over time in as many as possible of your niche areas as you can. You aren’t probably going to find a great deal of full length reports or books, other pattern books, in a niche such as knitting or crocheting. Or probably, from a reader perspective, even in a niche like books and reading. However, you can certainly find articles and even books with valuable information in such areas as travel, home and garden, or pets.

The more broadly you read in different areas and different categories of reading, such as short and long works, the more likely you are to enhance your own individual development as a writer.


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