Stephen King said “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
I’m currently working on a sci fi novel. I write mainly from 5-8am, some lunchtimes, and sometimes after dinner. But after 8 or so, I want to read a little to unwind.
But I’ve found that if I read another sci fi novel, my writing unintentionally starts to mimic the author’s style. (It seems to happen less in sci fi short stories though.)
Then I learn from the book Process: The Writing Lives of Great Authors that Toni Morrison reads detective novels while she’s working on a novel. I tried a bit of that last night. The subject matter, location and style seemed different enough to keep me from unintentionally mimicking it.
How about you? Do you read when you write? If so, any specific genre? Or just anything?