I've seen many times online how people say they don't read while they're writing for fear of (unconsciously) adopting pieces of what they're reading, including the voice/style of another author.
Now, I don't read while writing... but it has nothing to do with fear. I just suck at multitasking, and am not afraid to admit it ;)
Writing takes up too much brain space to allow for much of anything else (yes, yes, here's the spot to insert/comment/send me dumb-blonde jokes), and when I'm in writing-mode, the dog needs to perform a pretty remarkable tango to snap me out of that writing-mode and remind me of the fact that she isn't actually capable of using indoor plumbing.
When I first read (several years ago) about being afraid of adopting other writers' style/voice/etc, my reaction was... "Seriously?"
Because that just doesn't compute...
But then I kept hearing/reading the same thing.
I think it would take a lot of work to write in a voice other than my own... to change my style, to merge/meld with another. Maybe I'm just lazy? Maybe my dyslexic-brain can't switch gears to a new track? Sure, I can draw in any number of different styles, but I like my own. I like the lines and shapes my pencil automatically follows when I'm sketching/doodling. Writing my own voice/style is just as easy. I don't think, I just do.
But what do you guys think?
To you, is this a legitimate fear, and if so, why/how?
I get that, when you analyze something you like, how you can use it as a tool to *improve* your own writing, but I wouldn't consider that *adopting*. I'd call that learning. That's how/why I can draw in so many different styles. You analyze, you learn, you re-create, you move on and integrate it into your own thing.
Yup, I totally thought those sharp Anime/Manga styled noses from the 80's & 90's were ridiculous until I figured out *why* they're drawn that way.
A little while ago, I kinda ranted about 'kick-ass-female-characters' because I read 6 books within a couple of days where the lead female characters were near carbon-copies of each other. Does that mean any of those authors were *adopting* from each other? Or from an earlier book?
If every story has been already told a thousand times, and all that makes us interesting is our own, unique take on the tired, regurgitated plots & character archetypes, then where do you think the line is?
Do you read while you write? If you don't, why?