Wednesday, March 3, 2021

It's March of 2021 and the IWSG is asking what motivates our reading choices

It is the month of March. I always love March, because it is a month that has left the gray days of February behind and traded them for a whisper of spring. And because it is the first Wednesday of the month, it is time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post.

If you too would like to sign-up for the IWSG (founded by Alex Cavanaugh), please go to this LINK HERE. Here is some information that is taken from their web page:

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Every month, the IWSG gives writers the opportunity to either answer a question, or to compose a thoughtful and provoking writing-related post. My well on the latter ran dry a long time ago. So, I'm going to answer the question, which is...

March 3 question - Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

My reading (right now) consists of mostly Raymond E. Feist books, as I'm trying to get through a huuuugggeee series of books that this man has written (like 28 total), and I'm like on book 24. So, I'm going to finish this story, and thus far I give it four out of five stars. But this isn't exclusively what I read. Another book that I'm working on is Ready Player Two and the book called Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America. 

Quite a departure, right? So what motivates my reading choices? Well, I'd like to call it a brain that is thirsty to know things. Yes, I do read a lot of science fiction and fantasy. But after you read a lot of similar books, you become more and more cognizant of those similarities. A Sword of Ice and Fire (for example) at its most basic was a story of ice zombies versus dragons. What made it worth reading were the incredible character developments. But not every writer is capable of doing those things, so their version of dragons versus zombies or some other such thing isn't nearly as fresh and exciting. You come to discover the woes of capitalism that produce fantasy books that are only shades different from the last book you read. This phenomenon is "more of the same because it sells." And's a formula.

So as I'm reading a genre of books, I start to build up an intolerance to "more of the same." And that's when I know it is time to switch to something like Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo, primarily because I want to understand some aspect of modern society that has eluded me. This particular book answered questions about how I noticed some white males could be absolutely horrible at their jobs and end up rich, while life was a real struggle for me despite my many talents. And I found that interesting.

I hope that answers the question of the month sufficiently. If you have the time, please check out the awesome co-hosts that keep this blogfest running, year after year, and decade after decade. 

The awesome co-hosts for the March 3 posting of the IWSG are Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose!


  1. I love reading fantasy, sometimes if I like a particular author, I try to read the other books they have written.

  2. Fantasy books do tend to recycle the same ideas over and over.
    I watched a show last night where an average couple was building a three million dollar house and I had to wonder what the heck I've done wrong over the years...

  3. Fantasy stories and fantasy tv shows/movies are really starting to all read/look the same, consequently I don't read as much fantasy as I used to.

  4. In the same way if I read a lot of serious books I'll switch to something lighter to keep from getting too depressed. I liked Ready Player One but that seems like an unnecessary sequel.

  5. I'm getting tired of the same themes in fantasy stories too. I'm really more into a mash-up of fantasy with another genre. That's awesome that you are reading all the books of one of your favorite authors.

  6. I like to have several knitting projects going at the same time. Sometimes I want to dig in and really concentrate. While other times I want to do something fairly mindless while I watch something on TV. Reading is similar. Sometimes you want escapism. Sometimes you want other worlds. And sometimes you want to dig in and really go at something that'll challenge your mind and world view.

  7. I'm always looking for something different to read and sometimes it's hard. It is unfortunate that the market likes to pile on so many imitators if a particular brand becomes huge. Another reason not to chase trends as an author because no one wants to be "sloppy seconds."