7 Reasons Why Reading is Important to Become a Good Writer
I love this quote because it sums it up. You want to be a writer, publish a book, find your voice, or even improve your writing skills. Well, having a great idea is wonderful, a great start even.
But how will you write, not just a story, but a compelling story, a page turner?
Yes, practicing will improve your writing skills, the way you learn to play the piano. Practice mixed with a good dose of tenacity is what will make your writing stand out over time. But again, how will you know what/how to write?
Before learning to play an instrument or when you want to understand and master it, you learn the arpeggio. To me, reading is the arpeggio of writing.
Again, why reading is so important?
You heard countless times that reading is crucial to a writer, and if you haven’t yet, you sure will. You need to write it down on a sticky note and put it on a wall in front of you so that you can see it everyday.
But I may add, reading is not only about reading fiction. Well, fiction is on top of the list to help shape the best stories, but reading non fiction is also important. It will give you the tools on how to hone your writing on a more technical level.
Reading Fiction to make your readers travel
Put yourself in your reader’s shoes.
If you know what you like and what bore you to death as a reader, then you know what to work on and what to avoid by any means. A writer will write the stories they want to read. So reading will provide a clear picture of what you want to experience as a reader.
Get ideas on stylistic structures.
Well written descriptions, actions, and dialogues will inspire you. It will help you shape new ideas on how to show a scene. Remember “Show, don’t tell.”
Understand the structure.
When you’re a writer, reading takes a whole new level. You’re more attentive to the plot, the pacing, and the character’s development. This is a wonderful exercise for your brain. You’ll understand how the author brought the story to life and how he/she managed to transport you there.
Get ideas for plots.
Reading different types of books will also give you insights on what’s been done before. You may find ideas you can twist to make them yours. Reading is food for your creativity, and you can’t let it starve.
Keep you motivated.
Reading well-written stories will keep you motivated and inspire you to write other incredible stories. Fuel your creativity and imagination by living through other authors’ work.
Reading Non-Fiction to make your readers forget they’re reading
Better understand the rules of writing
Writing has its own set of rules. To be a good writer, you need to know them. Before driving, you get to know the rules of the road, right? I mean, you need to stop at the red light. So, rules are important. You can break them at some point, but never do this as an aspiring writer. You’re more likely to hit a wall.
If there is one book all writers should read, it would be “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. In “On Writing,” Stephen King wrote: “There is little or no detectable bullshit in that book.” I wholeheartedly agree.
Better understand how to plot, pace, and create meaningful characters.
There are many books out there on plots, characters development, structure, and more. Lots of them are great material. This may sound like common sense, but you’ll need to understand how it works to make it work.
The message of the book is yours, but reading will give you the tools to convey your message. Shake your readers’ world in a way they can’t move on to the next book right away, mourning the end of the book. You need to get them excited enough for them to google when the next book will be released.
Because you, as a writer, are capable of writing in a way that transported them to incredible places. And this is why reading is so important.