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'Write with...' - Week Twelve: The Importance of Reading

Sometimes when you are really immersed in a first draft you forget to do things, or you feel you don't have time to do them (see: cleaning your house, eating, watching TV, talking to real people) and the one thing I find comes grinding to a halt is... reading. You tend not to pick up another book when you are working on your own. Some writers are worried they might start adding vampires to their novels if they've just read about one, or will start to insert certain sentences that reflect the tone of the book they are reading. A lot read outside their genre in an attempt to stop this. However, we really do need to read - I am not sure you can be a commercial writer without knowing what is out there. And also you want to remind yourself that there is something to learn from every book you read (even if you loathed it - why did you?). So this week we focus on this, what can we learn from reading. What are your reading habits when you write and do they help or hinder your process?

Cesca x

After studying History at Bristol University, Cesca went on to work as a TV Presenter for four years on various pre-recorded and live shows. She taught History for seven years and became a Housemistress at a Secondary boarding School in Berkshire.

Since winning a writing competition for the best opening paragraph to a novel, Cesca has won or been placed in prestigious short story competitions for: Women and Home, Wells Festival of Literature, Grace Dieu and has also had short stories published in the Sentinel Champion and Sunday People Magazine.

She has written regular reviews and features for the popular women’s fiction website Novelicious and now films weekly vlogs to help wannabe writers for She lives in Bradfield with her husband and their brood of ex-battery chickens.

The Silent Hours is her first novel.