Alex J. Cavanaugh where totally insecure writers can get together and share the things that are making us go argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
February's question is: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?
I think I actually considered a similar question a while back. It had to do with whether as writers we should continue to review books. At the time I was coming at it from the standpoint of someone who didn't want to lose credibility as an objective reader simply because I also happen to write. I didn't want to become one of those writers who has to tiptoe around book reviews for fear of it coming back to bite me. I thought nothing could ever change the way I read if I just refused to let it.
And then a few months ago I realised that the number of one star reviews I gave got fewer and further between. I stopped caring about forcing myself to read the popular books no matter how much I was hating it along the way. I began to see the effort that would have gone into a book regardless of whether it was one that I was enjoying reading. I began to be less finicky about small things like typos (unless they were rampant!). I wasn't fixated on coming up with snarky one liners for book reviews. If anything, my reading became less about the technicality of writing and more about the storytelling. It's made me see that there's always more than one way a arc can go and a character can act.
In short, I find that I have begun to give authors the benefit of the doubt. I might still not enjoy the novel but I'm less inclined to be disparaging of anything but the most glaring diversion from my own values.