One of the most surprising things I found had happened as a result from starting to write seriously, was how I read books differently. After writing a novel, I can’t look at a book the same way again – which makes sense, right?
Picture someone close to you deciding to play soccer. You don’t know much about soccer. Turns out, that someone is really into it, and you end up going to a lot of their games and listening to them talk about it all the time. You’re going to have a different view about soccer now because of it. Now, maybe you can watch a soccer game on tv without being bored. You can watch a player shoot a goal and you can say, “wow! What a great play!” Or see the player make a pass a say, “what a terrible pass. They should’ve held onto it!”
This goes for writers too. You can’t write a book without the way you read things changing. For me, I can’t read through a book without talking about the brilliant way they worded this, or how the author just used that same word, or about how I hate that word choice, or how that scene was way to descriptive. Before I started writing, I never noticed or thought about these things. Now, I can’t help it when I think of how the author used one too many “ly” words in that scene (it’s terrible of me, I know).
I also used to read to the end of every book I started. Since writing, I find myself loosing interest in more books more often. I’ll read through three fourths of a book, then decide I don’t need to read the ending, because I already know what’s going to happen. Again, before writing, I would read every word of every sentence. Now, I find myself skimming over a lot in books I don’t feel connected to.
In reading anything, I’ll be actively thinking about the sentence structure or the word choice the author used, or how the author wanted this paragraph to come across to us readers. Once you’ve been on the other side of a book (the author side), it’s hard to go back to simply being a reader.