The more books writers read, the better they will write, right? Not all the time. Common sense tells us to read widely from our own genres, but as logical as that seems, it can be counter-productive. For one, reading is fun and it can get addictive. You could find yourself doing so much “research” that you never get around to your own draft again (oh, if I had a dime for every time I abandoned a draft to drink up someone else’s novel).
Every hour you spend reading is an hour you don’t spend writing. So, keep in mind that distractions, even good ones, are the devil for writers. Overdo your research and you won’t ever get anything published. Reading is good, but don’t let your own projects suffer.
Also, reading too much in your genre can affect your style. You want to bring something fresh to the reading nook. Sounding too much like every other author will make sure you end up lost in the fray. You need to stand out. Your unique voice will shine brightest when it isn’t cast in some other person’s shadow. Read, yes, but avoid reading too much of your genre, so you don’t end up writing more of the same without realizing it.
Bring your particular view of life and the world to your books. Strengthen your impact. Great writing is less about playing copy-cat and more about getting a strong hold of your readers. The piece should reel them in and keep them dying to know what’s next. So, read moderately and stay original.