Dear Miss Snark,
Whenever you suggest someone read "so-and-so's" work, I cringe. The more serious I get about writing, the less I read other books, and here's the reason. If I was a painter and visited the Dali Museum I can guarantee you that in the next dozen or so paintings I did, each would have a clock dripping over something. That would change when I visited the Grandma Moses Museum. I can't help it, if I like something I latch onto it. If I cram my head full of other peoples work, guess what my stuff is going to sound like? I'm afraid that I'd get rejections simply because what I wrote would sound like a cheep imitation, and not a personal creation. Do you have any clients who have this...disorder? I sure hope so. Also, should I be hitting the Valium harder than I am?
Every artist goes through this phase. It's called "being a student". As you write more, you'll develop your own voice and nothing will sound quite like you and you won't sound like anyone else. It can take years so I'm told by people who are artists, musicians and writers.
That said, it's important to read good writers. They will help you be a better writer and a better reader. Read outside your 'realm'. I know most mystery writers don't read other mysteries when they are "in progress". Or ever even. They do however devour non fiction and poetry like you would not believe.
Good writers read and read a lot. You're not going to be the exception to this. And the most brilliant composer I know listens deeply to all kinds of music, takes notes and thinks about what he hears. He also goes to the Met and MoMA frequently. You cannot create art in isolation no matter you've heard about starving artists in garrets.