Friday, July 18, 2014

Writers As Readers


I've said it many times on this blog (and elsewhere) that I firmly believe that a good writer must also be a true reader. As you can see by two of these quotes, Stephen King is of the same thought, as are many successful writers. Among the many writers I know personally, there is only one who claims she dislikes reading and seldom pursues it as a pastime. Is she a good writer? Yes. Is she a high paid pro? No. Is her reading habit the reason? I can't answer that one. Could be or perhaps not. 

Even so, I still urge anyone who wants to write to also be a voracious reader. As we read the work of others, we not only enjoy the book but our mind is tuned-in to the way the book is written. Often, it's a subconscious thing but we do it. 

One thing to be cautious about is to be careful not to mimic a favorite author in style and/or voice. Read many authors but develop your own style, find your own voice to use in your writing. 

What would you add to this list as a reason to read?

1.  To be entertained
2.  To acquire knowledge
3.  To spend time quietly and alone
4.  To escape from everyday routines and cares
5.  To observe how others write

I'm sure some of you are thinking that you have little time to write and even less time to read. My answer to that is that we create time to do both. Of course, there are some life situations that are going to stand in the way of both activities, but not at all times forevermore. I take a book with me when I'm going to be in a waiting room at a doctor or dentist's office. I use to read when using public transportation in a large city. I read in the evening rather than watch TV. I read in bed to relax before going to sleep. I snatch 10 and 15 minutes through the day to read. We all waste parts of our day. Some of that time could be for reading. 

Last, but far from being least, on today's topic it that I hope all parents will do whatever they can to encourage children to develope a lifetime habit of reading. I know it doesn't work with every child. I had one who loved to read and one who detested it. But guess what? At about age 42, he suddenly discovered the wonderful world of reading. 

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