There seems to be this strange breed of writer I have come across from time to time. I write because I love to read and to me the two are intertwined. Devouring stories is a frequent past time for me, and with each story the hunger grew greater until the only solution seemed to be to create my own worlds and stories.
Why then would someone who does not like to read try to create them? Note even a hypothetical question since this type of writer actually exists. I don't mean the writer who sheepishly admits they haven't' had time to read much, being so sucked into their own projects, but a person who calls them selves a writer and in the same breath proudly proclaims they don't read much. As if it was some sort of feat, or special talent. If prodded or asked for clarification on why, these writers demise the question casually stating they don't want their work to be tainted by others that are similar.
Research is for the unimaginative and they don't want their baby to be influenced by the obviously inferior work that would lay beside their own on the shelves. That is what they say, as they look down upon the very people who read their work.
In my younger years I was a bit of a hypocrite in the same situation. I wrote poetry though I had no interest in it outside of my own work. My excuse was my youth. Being a teenager makes you say and do a lot of dumb stuff, but to continue with that line of thought even after leaving high school I cannot imagine.
Reading in your own genre, and in others as well is important. It helps to learn what is out there, and can help with aspects of writing you have difficulty. Though I don't stay on top of the market exactly I do pay attention to current themes that seem to crop up. Writing a story about a princess who takes up sword fighting isn't 'edgy' or 'new' perhaps a couple decades ago it was, but if you force yourself out of the loop then how can you expect to speak to those who read the genre?
It's something I see from time to time, some wannabe writer (and I say that as a wannabe writer) proclaims they have the next greatest sci-fi book ever, but are quick to clarify that they don't read such things. I can't help but think of a scene from Friends when Joey was being interviewed and when the last question was what sort of soap opera he liked, he proclaimed that he found them stupid. Of course he at least was unaware of what sort of show he was in.
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