Insecure Writer's Support Group

Reaching for the Stars as a Reader #amreading #IWSG

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and time for another posting of the IWSG.

Learn more here.

It’s October already and it feels like every other year this time: hot, humid, scattered thunderstorms with terrifying lightning, loads of flowers making the air too sweet with all the aforementioned conditions, and, of course, time to just go and hide somewhere until all batteries are full again.

Which leads to the question: Why is October the month where I’m in need of a holiday?

Last year this time I was suffering from extreme burnout. Thanks to this great book, I found ways to move past it.

Mainly, I read. A lot. I worked my way through my Goodreads TBR – making sure it was up to date with other TBRs I have. At first, I could only read non-fiction. Writing craft books, mostly. Then I read a bunch of memoirs. And then I fell into fiction.

Various readathons from the last 12 months.

As I read, though, I realised what I can and cannot stomach in fiction and non-fiction alike. So, I’m probably not going to read a lot of writing craft books in the future as most of them are meant for beginner writers, no matter what the blurb says.

Some of my favourite craft books from the last 12 months.

As for fiction, I enjoy reading widely. But if you are doing info-dumps, starting with backstory, using dialogue tags that pull me out of the story, swear more than necessary, use the Lord’s name in vain or any other kind of blasphemy, didn’t edit/proofread properly breaking the contract between writer and reader by pulling me out of the story to figure out what you meant, have your characters run around without any common sense, then I’m going to DNF. These seem to be the biggies a lot of authors do to irritate me and end up being DNFed. You can check out my DNF shelf on Goodreads — each book has a review explaining why I stopped reading.

Some of my favourite novels from the last 12 months.

I know there are authors out there who are comparing me to Miranda Priestly after I’ve reviewed their books, but honestly, I’m just looking for a good book to read.

Miranda Priestly gif. Image credit.

You have the first five pages to convince me to stick around. There are plenty of books out there to be read and only so much time to do so.

Anyhow, I’ve learned a lot about presentation (placing the blurb of the book just after the table of contents so readers can remember why they bought the book in the first place when it’s an eBook), what works and what doesn’t across multiple genres (a good story that is well-written wins every time), and what my pet peeves are when reading (see above).

It made me a better writer. Looks like Stephen King was right.

And if you’ve looked at my TBR and the various books I’ve read carefully, you might have figured out the two genres I’m working on with two new pen names… Nope, not sharing it!

For a reminder about what the IWSG Goodreads Book Club is, check out last October’s post.

List of tools for authors:

Learn from the experts how to optimise your website, books and more for readers to find you and your books and want to read your work.


How to do it, why you should, and what information should be included. (You know, so readers can get to know you and find your books in one place.)

Book Package

Covers, blurbs and the rest of the book package. (You know, so the reasons I usually DNF a book doesn’t happen to you.)

The Rest

  • Joanna Penn, of the The Creative Penn, has a whole list of tools, tutorials and resources for you to check out. Her podcast is awesome, too.
  • Six Figure Authors is the podcast that helps you take your writing career to the next level.
  • The Alliance of Independent Authors have a podcast where they help at every level of your author career.
  • Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Show is another great podcast to listen to. “The Self Publishing Show provides weekly inspiration and education to writers at all stages of their careers.”

What has your reading year looked like? Any books you’d recommend? Any podcasts you love?

*If you have difficulty commenting, check that you’ve ticked the data use block beneath the comment before leaving your comment. (Protecting your privacy per regulations.)

The non-fiction selection was vetted by me and you can check out my review on Goodreads if you want to know what I liked about it.

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9 thoughts on “Reaching for the Stars as a Reader #amreading #IWSG”

  1. I read in a lot of genres too and read middle grade, young adult, and adult. I don’t read many craft books because I don’t have time. I loved Save the Cat Writes a Novel, the last one I read. I’m going to buy it before I start my next new manuscript and try the technique to see if it helps me write faster.

    1. I’m reading a lot of middle grade right now, there’s something pure in the storytelling I’m enjoying. I think trying the technique in Save the Cat Writes a Novel is a good idea — I might try it myself!

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