I like to write about a lot of things. I see a butterfly and want to write about nature. I see a sandwich and want to write about food. When I read, I get inspired not just by the topic, but the style the author imparts. Sometimes it’s the humor or the conversational style. Sometimes it’s the rhythm. But, the more I read, the more I write.
Every month or so, I’ll hop into my empty minivan and head for the library. I plop myself on the floor next to the newly published children’s books and devour a couple of dozen. Yes, lots of people stare. I’m not deterred. I read on.
Even though I primary write for children, reading other things also inspires me to write about something new or write it in a new way. Utne Reader has some topics out of the mainstream and The Onion always inspires me to twist things to an absurd degree.
Reading more will stretch you beyond your imagination and you’ll be less trapped by your own limitations. Go ahead. Curl up with a good book. There’s no need to feel guilty. You’re just doing some research.