I’m an incredibly seasonal reader, which I think I’ve mentioned before. Because it’s Spring, I’ve started opening up some nature writing – Notes from Walnut Tree Farm. It’s wonderful stuff so far.
I’ve always subscribed to the belief that, for a writer (and even for a reader, but particularly a writer) it’s beneficial to read widely – that is, to not charge through your beloved (sub)genre for months on end.
Every now and then, flex different muscles; as a writer, it’s a chance to discover new muscles entirely. You might not use them all the time, but when you do there will be something interesting to draw on – and that can help make you a more interesting writer.
Or even when it comes to writing things like whisky reviews, it’s a chance for me to try out something different – exercise a whole different set of critical skills which may or may not one day become useful. Another important thing is that it forces me stop and contemplate what I’m doing. It can help me reassess my style and learn interesting things about my own prose – if that’s something you care for.
This is about as far from being scientific as you can get, but I swear all this practice – of reading and writing utterly different pieces of prose – helps you grow as an author.
It helps you become a more natural writer. I just can’t quite put my finger on why.