A common refrain heard often is that to be a writer you need to be a reader.
But what should you read? Books in the genre that you write? But what if those books then subconsciously influence you? You don’t want to be producing pale imitations of better writers’ works.
Or should you read non-fiction, for research? But then how do you work out your own style, your voice?
Just read. Read everything and anything you can get your hands on. Reread your favourite books, read those ‘difficult’ novels, read fiction, non-fiction, stretch yourself and go where you’ve never been before. Gobble it all down and let your mind do its work, stewing together fact, fiction, life experience and observation into a phantasmagorical creation all your own.