There are a lot of writers out there who will tell you to write what you like to read. It seems like good advice–logical, intelligent advice.
If you write what you like to read, be prepared to sound like your favorite authors and to lose some of the enjoyment of reading altogether. Because if you write what you read, you’ll find yourself becoming much more analytical about the books you used to love and you’ll find that your favorites don’t quite inspire you as much as they used to.
Of course, this isn’t advice for everyone–what advice ever is? :-) But this is experience talking, and you’d do well to at least spend some time considering it before you dismiss it.
Without your love of reading, is writing going to be the joy that it was?
If you choose to write stories that are different enough from your most precious reading, you could end up a much happier reader. And a happy reader is a much more enthusiastic writer.
I enjoy writing contemporary romantic suspense in both light and dark tones. I also enjoy writing sci-fi romance. But reading? Lately, I’ve stuck to fantasy novels, strict science fiction, and shied away from the suspense. (I have read enough suspense, both romance and mainstream, that I feel comfortable that I’m on the right track with my stories, but I’m not one of those authors who believe you have to read every new book that comes out in a certain genre to be able to write in that genre.)
Let me know if you agree or disagree with my reasoning. I’d love to have the opportunity to see another opinion on this.
Soon, I’d like to talk about why I enjoy writing dark suspense, but why I don’t enjoy reading it–and it’s not for the reasons you might think!