Why You Should Read Outside of Your Comfort Zones

Today, I’m very happy to introduce the Write Practice regular and travel writer, Unisse Chua. She writes about her travels on her blog, Little Girl Travels. You’ll probably want to follow her on Google+ and Twitter (@lilgirltravels) because she’s super cool. Thanks for posting Unisse!

Writers read to expand their knowledge on different writing styles and patterns of other writers, established or not. It has been a constant reminder to writers to keep reading and reading something does not necessarily mean it has to be finished.

I can no longer remember the very first time I picked up a book and just sat down and read but I do remember the complete set of colorful picture storybooks my parents bought for me when I was a child. Those were my first books.

Bibliophile: A lover and collector of books.

My love for reading continued when I was in elementary. I was not a very outgoing child so I spent my time alone in the library, flipping though books with pictures. I eventually learned to love books without the colorful pictures when I read the Harry Potter series. That was my very first set of young adult fiction books.

As the years passed, I started to read more fiction books that young teenage girls read, like The Mediator series from Meg Cabot, the Mates Dates series from Cathy Hopkins, and the Year Abroad trilogy.

I noticed that once I like a book with a certain theme, I tend to search for other books with the similar theme.

Is Reading Books You’re Comfortable With Enough?

Is reading the same genre of books enough to help one develop as a writer? Wouldn’t that just limit the writer to write something similar?

It’s not limited to genres either. How about just reading short stories and novels, but never really paying attention to other forms of literature like poems, prose, or plays?

I have to admit that I was never really a poetry fan and I am very limited to a handful of novel authors. After reading a post here about collecting images for poetry (and for stories as well), I realized that I haven’t really explored other forms of literature and other genres that I stay away from.

We all have our comfort zones, in reading, writing and in our lives. Without stepping out of that small bubble of ours, our knowledge would not be able to grow and we would not know if we might be better in other fields of writing or not.

Realizations are one thing, but acting upon a realization is another.

I may not be able to write poems with measures and rhymes just yet, but I’ve decided to start reading more poems, analyze and criticize them without bias and eventually write some before completely scrapping it out of my writing experience.

What is a book you wouldn’t have normally chosen to read but which changed how you approach writing?
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PRACTICE

Today, I want to challenge you to read something new: a novel, book of short stories, book of poetry or even nonfiction book you wouldn’t normally choose on your own.

And in my opinion, the best way to find good new books is from friends. So in the comments, share what you normally read, and ask this wonderful little community to suggest something new to you.

If something catches your fancy, tell us what you’ve chosen.

Happy reading!

About Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let's Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).

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