On the Importance of Reading Inspiring Books

I recently had a short holiday to the US, visiting my best friend who I’ve not seen in person since he got married almost two years ago. The problem of them marrying an American and moving over there. The one good thing about a flight to the US is that it gives plenty of time to read, and on the way over I read The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemsin.

Oh my, it’s spectacular. I loved The Inheritance Trilogy she’s also written, devouring that over a weekend, but this is on another level of awesome. But it wasn’t just fantastic to read, it’s inspired me as well.

I used to be wary about reading books when I was working on my writing, worrying about the ideas from what I was reading seeping into my work. It’s a silly worry, one that should be ignored, as the best books you read will make you want to write so much.

Reading a book like The Fifth Season, with its fantastic style and unique voice, just inspires me. It makes me want to reach the same levels (fat chance but I’ll try!) with my own writing, and to trust in my writing voice as well.

The best books not only show how a novel can be written, in a myriad of different ways, and teach you lessons on style, pacing, character. They make you want to improve as well.

So right now I’m working on draft two-and-a-half of The Word, and thanks to The Fifth Season I’m trusting to write my own way a little bit more.