Sunday, May 8, 2016

Hobbies & Writing— #OpenBook Blog Hop

Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop, where a group of authors discuss a variety of topics. This week we're exploring how a hobby has made us better writers.

When I first saw the topic, I thought this post would be tough to write. I couldn't figure out how needlepoint made me a better writer. Then I realized I was overlooking the one thing that most people consider a hobby that I see as a part of my life—reading.

I'm one of those people who will read at the table—but not if I'm in the company of other people. Heck, I used to read cereal boxes growing up. I wasn't the only one, my sister and I used to swap boxes when we got done with ours.

During grade school and high school, I read all the time, and I was a fast reader. So fast, my mother didn't believe I could read a book as quickly as I did. I'll admit, I may have skimmed over dry, boring parts, but I was retaining the important parts of the stories. And it wasn't just fiction, I loved biographies.

So, I hear you asking, that's nice and all, but how did that make you a better writer? Well, let me tell you.

All those books I read as a kid were more than entertainment, as are the books  I read today. I may not be thinking about it, but subconsciously I was learning how to write—and how not to write. I've read everything from classics to erotica, from dinosaur romance to Dr. Zhivago, from a child's biography of Betsy Ross to the Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time to Ivanhoe. (Only one dinosaur themed story, I promise you! And I barely made it through the whole novella! And then promptly erased it from my Kindle!)

And all that reading and all those lessons impacted my writing. I have an idea of what works and what doesn't work for me, and what will work and won't work for my readers. I understand the chances I take if I choose to break an unwritten (or written!) rule. While I'm writing, I look at what I've put on paper from the eye of a reader—would I keep reading?

But not only has my style of writing been formed by all those books, they've also helped to shape what I write about. For example, Harmony Duprie, the main character of my Oak Grove books, was influenced by James Bond. And my favorite alpha wolf shifter, Gavin Fairwood, has roots in several heroes written by Barbara Cartland.

So yes, my writing has been improved (I hope!) by my reading. To find out what other authors have to say, follow the links below.

"May 9, 2016 - How a hobby has made you a better writer.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use ?#?OpenBook? when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Custom Blog:

Code for Link:

get the InLinkz code

#JamesBond #BarbaraCartland #Reading #Books #Writing


  1. Ha ha, we think alike! How did you get the link to work? It never seems to work for me now.

    1. I had to change my template from dynamic to static when we started the blog hop or it wouldn't work.