"One you learn to read, you will be forever free." ~Frederick Douglas

We've got a pretty good hunch that you're already a fan of reading. Most of us to come our passion for writing by starting with reading others. And at the risk of admitting that the likeliest cause of my death will be being crushed by my to-be-read pile, I still can't get out of of a bookstore or library without adding something to stack.

However, it's easy to fall into a reading rut. You have a favourite genre or author with so little free time—trust me, I hear you!— it's easiest to reach for something you know you'll enjoy. However, as a writer, you're also a craftsperson. Taking time to occasionally read outside your comfort zone can expand your knowledge and push your own creativity. Read diverse authors, genres, and from different time periods. Expand your horizons!

We've found some articles to help you push your reading boundaries:

We know that you know that reading is good for you, but can you count the ways? This post shares 12 reasons why reading widely is important for writers. (And heck, for anyone, really).

This is lovely post, not a list of reasons, rather it's a narrative about the how and why of reading widely from a blogger who has lots of interesting things to say about lost of interesting topics. Set aside a cup of tea for this one!

And, in the spirit of one of the new YouTube conversations we just posted with game developer Jared Hunt on how to use world-building role playing games to improve your fiction writing, here's an article encouraging you to "read outside your genre" by playing Dungeons and Dragons.

~ New this week ~

New on our YouTube channel

Game developer, Jared Hunt talks with Eileen about what RPGs (Role Playing Games) are and how world building is done in an improv style on the fly and responding to player needs. There are tips and techniques that writers can use in their own work.

This conversation between Donna and multi-genre author, Glenna Mageau, started as a casual cup of virtual tea, a catch-up since they hadn't chatted in many months. But once Glenna started telling Donna about her most recent book and why she wrote it, Donna turned on the video. So imagine you've just sat down at a coffee shop to overhear a conversation that's already in progress!

If you're writing a series and have struggled to keep all the facts about timelines and characters and places straight, you'll want to check out this conversation between Crystal and author/editor Amanda Bidnall since they go deep on creating a series bible.

~ For Creative Academy Members ~

New in our Members' Only community

Blogging. Who has time, especially when you're pretty confident the only people reading have already bought your book or joined your mailing list. You need to be working on your manuscript—or your killer to-be-read pile. Donna felt this way until she spent some time getting to know the wonderful world of Medium.com. Her first of a series of dives into this world "where words matter," is now in the Academy. Check out Why and How to Use Medium.com: a Mini Masterclass. Join the cult!

Office hours, writing sprints and special topic gatherings

Eileen's Crafty Happy Hour she tackled how to write crowd scenes: how to balance sharing information with keeping various people straight and staying in your main character's POV.

Crystal did not host office hours this past week since she was hosting the shingles virus. That uninvited guest has been shown the door and Crystal will be back next week with all the tech and branding supporting we rely on from our resident Witch-Wizard.

Donna's Writer on Fire mastermind group brainstormed titles for another member's book, talked about the indie author mindset and the benefits of blending that with the entrepreneur mindset, and learned that publications that use the Submittable form have an interesting quirk that's worth knowing about... never recorded, always supportive. Join us next week!

Not a Creative Academy member yet? Learn all you need to know to become a member here.

~ Creative Advice Prompt ~

Ever been on a date with someone new and spied on what they have on their bookshelves to try and figure out what kind of person they are? What books would be on your protagonist's and antagonist's shelves?

Eileen, Crystal and Donna