This post is coming in a bit late, but I had a long day yesterday and didn't get a chance to get this written beforehand. I apologize if you're a faithful reader of my blog. If you've wandered in here by accident or by following a link someone shared, please understand I'm not usually this forgetful.
I could post a political rant. There's enough in the news these days to rant about, that's for sure. The government shut down here in the US, the Affordable Care Act (and boy, could I rant about that), all of the violence in Syria, possible talks between the US and Iran. As I said, there's been a lot I could rant about, or at least hold some kind of discourse on.
But I'm not going to. I don't see the point. People have far more eloquently addressed these situations then I ever could. I'm just going to say our Senators and Representatives are morons, the ACA is a good idea in some regards and a bad idea in others, Syria needs help without us getting physically involved in the conflict, and I'm all for more open conversations with countries in the Middle East if it means fewer conflicts.
Instead, what I want to talk to you about is reading. How often do you read? If you're like me, and I hope you are, you read a lot. I try to read at least one book a week. Sometimes it takes me longer if they're longer books or I don't have as much time to read as I'd like. For instance, I'm not even halfway through A Clash of Kings yet. But I also tend to read more than one book at a time, so I'm always in the process of finishing at least one book up if not multiple books.
Reading avidly is a hallmark of a great writer. You need to know what's out there before you can write it. Now I will admit, I don't read a lot of what hits the bookstore shelves. For me, it's all about the free books at Amazon. But I do go to the library and search for new books to see if they're there. Especially if they're interesting to me. That reminds me, I haven't been in a while. I think I'll have to go scope out the bookstore and then take a list to the library to see if they're there or if they can order them from another library for me.
Read, and read widely. Don't just read your genre. Read nonfiction, read other genres, read tech manuals if you are so inclined. Just read a lot. It'll help you. It really will.