Read terrible books
Reading a book you loathe can be as instructive and motivating as reading books you love and admire. Don’t avoid lousy writing and clunky plots – relish them! Reading terrible books is a terrific way to hone your craft and inspire yourself to write better than those other mediocre writers did. As you hate-read a book, pay close attention so you can pick it apart in detail. Thinking hard about why exactly you hate it, what you wish the author had done differently, and how you would improve it if you could will bring your own writing goals and priorities into sharper focus, and help you write the kind of book you love.
—Anica Mrose Rissi is the author of Always Forever Maybe, the Anna, Banana chapter-book series, and the picture books Watch Out for Wolf! and The Teacher’s Pet. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @anicarissi.