What you read affects what you write. I've already talked on my blog about how important reading is in the life of a writer. It's something that can't be ignored. If you are what you eat, I'd contend that you are what you read as well.
What does reading do for you as a writer?
1. It stimulates your imagination. Reading creative works will spark your own creativity and get the wheels turning in your mind. It will give you new ideas, get you thinking about new "what ifs," and chances are, it will make you want to write.2. It ingrains writing mechanics into you in a natural way. The more you read good writing, the more it will be instinctive.3. It's just plain fun. Reading good books is a good way to relax and recharge, and if you like stories, it's very enjoyable.
So what's stopping you from reading? If you're anything like me, you can probably break it down into two reasons.
1. You don't have very much free time.2. You feel like you're not being productive when you're reading a book.
Well, I have news for you (and me). Reading fiction books is not a waste of time. Yes, you need to prioritize your tasks, and sitting down to read a book shouldn't be the top priority on that list, but reading should not be a "maybe later, if I have time, which I probably won't." You've got to keep putting stuff into your mind if you expect anything to come out, so reading is an important thing to do.
As far as not having the time... make some time. That's going to look different for every person. Maybe watch less TV and spend less time on social media or dawdle less on chores and home business work. Those are easy/non detrimental things to cut out. Obviously you can't cut work and chores from your schedule, but if you budget your time well (something I'm personally not very good at), you may find yourself discovering time you didn't know you had. Also, don't be a workaholic. If a lot of your work is from home, it can be hard not to let it take over everything. "I can't sit and relax, I haven't met my writing quota or planned next week's music lessons or written my next blog post or practiced music or finished that sewing project or prepared for the next girls' Bible study lesson or..." and the list goes on. No one can go on forever without stopping, so take time to relax and take time to read.
After all, it's an important part of being a writer.
So take time to read.