It’s a drag to keep up with any profession. But writers have it the worst. To stay up-to-date we’re actually expected to read everything out there in our genre—can you believe it? I mean doctors have the pleasure of poring over ground-breaking journal articles on the indications and side effects of new pharmaceuticals. My husband, an electrical contractor, gets to take stimulating seminars on updates in National Electrical Code. Meanwhile, as a writer for young people, I have to force myself to sit down and read The Hunger Games and The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, when I’d rather be vacuuming.
I’m supposed to read the children’s best sellers, the award winners, the novels by the agents I’m researching. I’m supposed to read any book mentioned in a blog or by a fellow writer because it’s a good example of voice, or plot, or dialogue. And, as if that’s not unpleasant enough, I encumber myself with the additional requirement to read one adult novel a month too—distasteful, yes, but I wouldn’t want to appear ignorant when someone mentions The Help or The Time Traveler’s Wife, now would I?
I’m not even getting big bucks as a writer, and I’m still expected to shoulder this burden. Maybe we writers should all unite together and demand of publishers, “Stop selling so many books—the work is killing us.”
Are you with me? If so, send me an e-mail. I’ll get back to you right after (sip of tea) I find out what happens in the next chapter of this book I’m reading.