Before I dive in to this week's topic, lemme just say a sarcastic "Thanks a lot!" to Betsy for getting the "Growing Pains" theme song stuck in my head. :)
Yes, my formative years also included many evenings with the Seaver family...
And when I wasn't watching TV (my Mom was great about setting limits, which to be honest, were rather annoying then, but I'm oh-so-thankful now), I could always be found curled up with a good book.
While I've learned many things about writing over the years, reading has really been my greatest tool. In fact, whether you're an aspiring writer or have been published a gazillion times, I can't underscore the importance of reading enough.
Now I know there are seasons where reading inevitably takes a backseat because of, well, life, but I've discovered on more than one occasion (try hundreds) that my writing inevitably suffers when I'm not reading. So I try and schedule time for that like I do for blogging, updating my website and the like because whenever I'm reading, I learn so much.
Right now I'm reading Nicholas Sparks' latest novel, The Best of Me (yes, I have a soft spot for his sappy, North Carolina-based romances), and it's already given me a few insights into plotting that I'm thankful for.
Now it's your turn...what have you been reading and how has it helped you with your own writing? Can you think of a book that changed the way you write? Or at least inspired it?