Why Writers Need To Read

By on July 5, 2018
Why Writers Need To Read -Writer's Life.org

One of the most accessible and most enjoyable ways for a writer to improve their knowledge and skills of the craft is to read.

Reading is a writer's ultimate research tool, and the great news is that you can read pretty much anything and it will still help you get better at writing.

But just why is it that reading benefits writers so much?

Here are 8 reasons that will make you realize just how essential reading is.

1. Because reading is to writers as to eating is to a chef

If a chef never tasted his food, you’d find it hard to believe he knew what he was doing. The same goes for writing. Writers who never read cannot claim to really understand how to write, the more you read, and the more you expose yourself to different types of writing the more world-wise you will become!

2. For inspiration, and influence

Great writers are influenced by the writers they loved, and you should allow yourself to be affected and inspired by those you do too. The more you read, the more you open yourself up to the chances of finding something that truly motivates you or gives you that brilliant idea you’ve been waiting for.

3. To learn and understand how language works

Words are writers tools; we need to put them to work and find out how to use them, so they are most effective. Reading helps us to see how other writers have put words to excellent use, and we can learn a lot from this.

4. To become more imaginative

Reading lots of different stories takes us on so many amazing adventures into all kinds of incredible worlds. The more you read and allow yourself to become immersed in those worlds the more you are exercising your imagination which will help you no end when you come to write your own stories.

5. To learn how to experiment

Good writing almost always involves a certain amount of risk-taking. By reading widely, you can gain insight into how other writers have pushed boundaries and bent the rules to come up with something truly unique. You can learn from this and figure out how to experiment more with your own work.

6. To learn from others mistakes

You aren’t going to like everything you read, but guess what? Even reading a lousy book can help you learn! Sometimes reading something awful can help us recognise flaws in our writing and will help us to correct them more easily.

7. To help you become more knowledgeable

The more you read the more you learn. Read as many different types of books as you can, and you will be exposed to so many different histories, cultures and exciting pieces of information about the world. Use that knowledge to bring layers and depth to your own stories.

8. Because you owe it to other readers.

We all know how difficult it is to become a successful writer, and by reading lots, you are supporting your fellow writers, who might return the favour when you next release a book!

Simply put, good writers read. So next time you are struggling for inspiration, or just want to improve, pick up a book and pay attention. It really is as simple as that.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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