I know some writers who say that when they're writing a novel they can't read novels. Everyone has their own way, but I'd go nuts if I couldn't read fiction while I write it. That would mean I couldn't read novels for the better part of a year.
Writers who adhere to this self-imposed rule do so, they say, because they're afraid they'll be influenced by the style of the writer they might be reading.
I read all the time. And learn. I learn from good books what I should do, and from bad ones what I shouldn't do. I don't learn anything from some books, I just enjoy them or throw them across the room.
But reading others is the writing school I went to. And I haven't graduated. I hope I never do.
As I said, I learn from writers, but I've never found myself imitating a style. That's not to say that other writers don't have a legitimate reason for their ban on reading fiction when writing.
I believe writers all have different ways to accomplish what they set out to do.
For instance, those writers who say they write in coffee shops. I could never do that because I'd find myself too interested in what the couple across from me was saying, or listening to the waitress give her spiel.
Still, I have my way, too. I can't write anywhere but in my own house at my own desk on my own computer.
Rigid, isn't it?
I had a good five day week. I'm advancing the story as I should be and getting new ideas all the time. Some places are a mess but that's what rewrites are for. What did we do without computers?
I know I have to go back and change some crucial bits of information, but I'm not worrying about that now. I need to press on and get this first draft down.
I'm two and a half months away from my deadline. It's important that I meet it because the publisher wants to publish this second book in hardcover when the paperback (I think it's a tpk) of the first book is released. So no more days off, except for my birthday. I can hand in the book two weeks or so past my deadline but not much more.
I was late by that amount last year and that was due to illness. If all the stars are lined up right I'll make it this year.