They always say that writers should read. “They,” of course, referring to the infinitely famous and notoriously vague entity that determines what should and should not be done. Pronouns aside, the advice is solid. Reading enables writers to learn more about their craft by seeing what was successful for others. At the beginning, many writers start off their projects by imitating the styles of successful writers before they develop their own–imitation stemmed from reading the works of authors they admire. Along the way, writers can gain inspiration through reading the works of others in their genre, or gain insight into a new genre that writer is considering branching into.
I feel it’s safe to say that reading and writing go hand in hand. Hell, half of us were inspired to go into writing through our passion for reading. However, I would not say that “simply reading” is always enough. In order for a writer to truly gain anything (other than the enjoyment of a good story) from reading, she must read not like a reader, but like a writer.
As a new writer, it is often easy to get caught up in the excitement of the business. You hold up that shiny new piece of writing and can’t wait to share it with the world. You research everything you can about writing and plan the most effective way to get your work into the hands of the public.
This is great, and writers should get excited about what they are doing. The problem comes when the writer gets so excited that they forget to become their own critic.
Here are five mistakes that new writers often make.