I recently held a year-long reading contest on my website inspired by my daughter’s insatiable love of reading. Over 3,500 participants tried to match or beat Kayla’s number of pages read. It was an amazing thing.

Sometimes as writers, we spend so much time brainstorming, plotting, writing, or thinking about writing, that we don’t take the time to read. (Yes, yes, I know. Didn’t I write a post about writing?) Yes. But, any good author will tell you that you also must read to become a better writer. And I’m not just talking about handbooks on the craft of writing. Take the time to read, enjoy, and even study other author’s works.

I’m a fast reader, so I read a LOT of books. But I am amazed each time I shut the cover of a new read and think about all the things I learned, just from reading. Even if the book wasn’t my favorite, I can learn a lot from it and my own writing can grow in new ways.

This coming week is the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) which I am excited to attend. My non-fiction book, Welcome Home, is launching and I am honored to have the opportunity to speak at the Heart of the Author Luncheon, sign my books, do radio and TV interviews, and attend the wonderful Christy Awards. But another wonderful part of the week will be seeing amazing writer friends, checking out all the incredible new books, and learning as much as I can. We should never stop learning.

So my advice to you today is: Read and Write. Even if you are on a deadline, you should take some time to read. You’ll be a better writer for it.

Maybe I’ll see some of you at ICRS – I’ll be signing at 9:30 on Tuesday morning at the Tyndale House Publishers booth. We can talk about what we’ve recently read 😉

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Kimberley Woodhouse is a wife, mother, author, and musician with a quick wit and positive outlook despite difficult circumstances. A popular speaker, she’s shared at more than 600 venues across the country. Kimberley and her family’s story have garnered national media attention for many years, but most recently her family was chosen for ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Montel Williams Show, and Discovery Health channel’s Mystery ER which premiered in 2008. Her story, Welcome Home: Our Family’s Journey to Extreme Joy, releases SOON from Focus on the Family/Tyndale Publishers and is available now for pre-order. Kimberley lives, writes, and homeschools in Colorado with her husband of seventeen years and their two children in their truly “extreme” home. Pre-order Welcome Home
Kim’s Website

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