Why Writers Should Be Readers

“I don’t have time to read.”

I hear that comment frequently from other writers, and, to be honest, it baffles me. A life without reading?

How do you even live?

Without a steady diet of reading, my brain grows lazy and it becomes far more difficult for me to write. [Cue five hours of staring at my laptop.] I scroll social media and find myself growing restless and bored. People who spend more time on social media are more likely to be depressed, and that’s exactly what happens to me.

When I read regularly?

My creative juices fire up and throw more ideas at me than I can handle.

[I think this is a good thing. . . .]

Instead of jumping on Facebook when I’m stuck on a chapter, I hunt up a book that inspires me and skim until I find a sentence that grabs my attention. Then I dissect it. Study the author’s techniques, the way s/he words things, the way they make writing look easy when in reality it is so, so hard. Sometimes I write out a choice paragraph from another’s book, getting a feel for sentence structure, dialogue, and description until my brain kicks back into pattern and I find myself able to return to my own story, my own words.

Reading books is the only way to keep my own stories unique. To keep myself from creating the same storyline over and over again.

Reading books forces me to think outside the box. To find new ways to create tension and plot twists. To make my characters different from the norm.

I read books because I want my stories to be the best they can be.

I read because my soul is hungry for stories that inspire me.

Words to help me dream.

Dreams to help me create.

Why do you read?

 

2 thoughts on “Why Writers Should Be Readers

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  1. Absolutely! I find I have to get my “fill up” by reading alot, so much so that I try and write from my “overfill” or “spilling over” of all my reading. For myself, I’ve discovered that what I read, it stays with me and eventually finds it’s way on paper or in conversations or both. In other words, reading changes our minds and molds our thoughts profoundly. The best writers I’ve ever read are those who read consistently and widely. Thanks for your wonderful reminder!

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