I'm not sure what it's like for you but I have to be careful what I read when I'm writing. Yesterday I read The Great Gatsby. It was completely unexpected. I'm not sure what I thought it would be like but that wasn't it. The writing was fluid, active and captivating. The story and the characters were larger than life yet intimate. Of course I'll never write anything like it. I'm okay with that. Only F.Scott Fitzgerald can be himself. Just as there is only one Keziah Fenton.I know because I googled it.
I picked up a book to read this morning then put it back down. I did that with three others. I want to read them all, truly I do, but I don't want to influenced by story, characters or writing style while I'm writing.
I've turned to some good period dramas and watched them instead of reading. The rhythms and cadences are restricted to dialogue alone. Sage hooked me on the BBC production of North and South. I immediately followed that viewing with the final episodes of The Vicar of Dibley. Hard to believe the male lead in both shows was the same actor, Richard Armitage. Cathy thinks he's a good candidate for Roger in the Outlander series.
I think the best way to keep my mind on my own story and characters is to read nothing but research materials and stop losing myself in sexy British actors.
What do you do to keep your mind on your own writing?