The question has been posed many times on the Facebook board, Indie Writer's Unite, how do you read other novels while writing one of your own? I am an avid reader and could not imagine not being able to read even while I am writing a book of my own. What's more frustrating is sticking with a story once I've started to read it. I do have a few ground rules though: I won't read the genre I am writing and I try to avoid styles that might creep into my WIP (work in progress).
I have been reading quite a few interesting stories lately. I read a short story, Ain't No Sunshine by Leslie DuBois, currently free on Kindle, and have started Guardian of Eden by the same author I snagged for $1.99 on Kindle. I am also currently reading Sand by Lili Tufel, Her Book Of Shadows by Larry D. Marshall, and The Righteous by Michael Wallace.
I decided to start sharing my reading list because if I can help other indie authors then all the more power to them. There are some great books out there and not all of them are published by the Big 6 publishing houses. Leslie DuBois' novels and Sand are bittersweet romance books without the cheesy sentimentality of a Harlequin novel while Her Book of Shadows and The Righteous are mystery-thriller types which are very much plot driven and keep you guessing until the end.
In terms of my new novel, Death Wish: Book I (The Vamp Saga), it is practically writing itself. I am over half way finished an I am so proud of this accomplishment, I still can't believe it was possible. I wouldn't recommend anyone to attempt such a feat as writing a book within a month's time but it is in the spirit of being an author and an artist. No one can predict how long it will take to finish a story. Sometimes it takes many months and years and every once in a while, a matter of weeks.
It's been very difficult as I have had to discipline myself to write every day (whether I am feeling inspired or not), at least three thousand words per day, seven days a week. I don't get any breaks or slack from this schedule and I have managed to accomplish what I have set out to do. I've also learned the hard way that writer's block is a state of mind, not an actual affliction. If one is disciplined to write then one will write. One might end up throwing part of it away, changing plots around and fiddling with the story but the important part is to continue to write.
Being an author is like any other craft. The more one practices, the better one becomes. That is not to say one won't make mistakes and no longer needs an editor (an editor is always needed) but one does become a better and more skilled writer. I have learned the easy way that just as I can't survive without reading, I shouldn't allow myself to survive without writing either.
1) Ain't No Sunshine: http://www.amazon.com/Aint-No-Sunshine-ebook/dp/B00408AYJU
2) Guardian of Eden: http://www.amazon.com/Guardian-of-Eden-ebook/dp/B004V9HFRM
3) Sand: http://www.amazon.com/Sand-ebook/dp/B004VF69MS
4) Her Book Of Shadows: http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Scott-Riker-Mystery-ebook/dp/B0051VBC64
5) The Righteous: http://www.amazon.com/The-Righteous-ebook/dp/B004LX0B9M