Reading is one of the most important things you can do as a writer. If you don’t believe me, take it from someone who has written over 50 books, Stephen King. One of my favorite quotes from his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Stephen King brings a book with him everywhere he goes, as do I. This way whenever I find myself with a free moment between life’s nagging necessities, I can learn how to be a better writer. Exposing yourself to different writing styles can help you fine tune your own. Also, I haven’t met another writer who didn’t love to read. I think it comes naturally for us.
I love reading books in the same genre as the ones I’m writing. It’s informs me of what’s out there and what other writers are doing. At the same time, I enjoy that particular genre so much that I want to write it myself so it’s always a good read. However, it’s refreshing to read other genres too. You can get inspiration and explore other styles of writing. It’s also a great tool for escaping your world and entering into another in order to switch your focus and overcome writer’s block.
Books I’ve read recently are You Are A Badass, Discovering Soul Care, Too Busy Not to Pray, Think Better Live Better, The Princess Saves Herself in this One, WE – Understanding Psychology of Romantic Love, When Sorry Isn’t Enough, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A #@%!, Let’s Be Less Stupid, The Undefeated Mind, Creating True Prosperity, You’re Already Amazing, How Good is Good Enough, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and City of Ghosts.
Think about what books you have read recently and what you can take away from them. It could be anything from a life lesson, to a new descriptive word to a way of writing. Focus on what you learned from the book that can make you a better writer. I’m not talking about stealing from other authors, I’m talking about expanding your thought process and leveling up to become a better writer with each book you read. So make sure to read a lot. Stephen King said, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” If you want to be an author, start by reading a lot.
Stephen King also said, “Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.” What do you do when you’re waiting for your car’s oil to be changed? Playing on your phone? Why not further your writing career by reading a book instead? Go read a book!
Dawn Zauner – Writing Expert
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