"Shop the Competition," is a business term used to describe a method of learning what your rival does better. Reading enables a writer to recognize good and bad writing regardless of the genre he or she chooses to write.
Good writers broaden their horizons reading. They read everyday and anything they can get their hands on, newspapers, magazines, comic books, classic novels, anything in print or online. Writers plunge themselves in words.
Submerse yourself in Pulitzer Prize, New York Times, National Book Award books. Be bold, if a Nobel Peace Prize Winner for Literature appears in an English translation, read it. Follow the authors your audience reads. Expand your reading genres to spark your creativity and enhance your writing ability.
Reading what you write helps you learn more about your audience. It builds an inventory of good and bad writing. Exploring other writers in your writing genre sometimes reveals concepts and ideas you thought unique.
Choose books from the New York Times bestsellers (100,000+ copies sold). Extract what the public perceives as a good book. Wander through every book like an editor and a consumer. Discover how the author triggered your emotions and maintained your attention. Make note of the writing’s quality.
Writing is a skill, but a writer's output is artistic. Every piece of art compares itself with previous masterpieces. Writers need to shop the competition and read.
“If you don’t have time to read,
you don’t have the time (or the tools)
to write. Simple as that.” -Stephen King