You know how some realizations occur to you multiple times, but you don't really acknowledge them until the sixth time around?
Maybe you don't.
Maybe this is just me being stubborn.
(I'm not stubborn)
Either way, this morning I realized this (again): If I'm writing fantasy, it's difficult for me to read fantasy. Likewise, if I'm writing realistic fiction, it's difficult for me to read realistic fiction. And so on and so on.
I've know this for a while. I even remember telling myself "David. Listen. You should probably realize that your writing habits are so slow right now they're riding on the short bus headed in the wrong direction. Maybe this is because you keep thinking about the book you're reading and how it relates to yours. Maybe you should read something else."
"That is ridiculous," I told myself. "My writing clearly just needs a break. I do not have a problem here. Not a big deal"
(I'm not stubborn)
"You don't think it's a problem that you keep thinking about how the book you're reading doesn't fit into the book you're writing?" I said back to myself.
"Absolutely not," I said.
Myself sighed. "And the fact that you keep visualizing your characters in that other books world is not a problem?"
"Self, you are clearly delusional."
"Right back at ya."
This morning I realized all this again, but finally had the smarts to listen. I keep putting my characters into the books I read. I visualize them in these worlds that are not mine. I force them to interact with other characters that are not mine. I even picture them looking differently from time to time. (Did I just rhyme?) The reason for this is that I keep reading books that are so closely related to what I'm writing, that I confuse the two and mix them. This happens to me especially if I'm reading something that's not so special. You know, reading a book just to read it because it has a pretty cover or a good author or an awesome title that let's you know it has blood and kissing and action and pretty things.
(I'm not stubborn. And I'm not a sucker for marketing.)
So. Where was I going with this?
Don't read what you write. Or do, if that works for you. But it doesn't for me.
Except sometimes when it does.