There’s a Steven King quote out there that says, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or tools) to write.” This insight comes from his book , On Writing, which I can’t recommend enough. As I’ve recently finished NaNoWriMo, I have to say that I can’t agree more. Here are some of the reasons why.
- Reading inspires. This NaNoWriMo, I struggled a bit. There were many days where the words were fighting me, but reading helped. Even though it wasn’t exactly in the same genre, reading a new book by one of my favorite authors helped to get my creative juices flowing.
- Reading Teaches. Don’t think that you need to get some big degree to be able to chase your writing dreams. There are books and free online resources that can help you refresh your grammar and editing skills, or give you tips on storytelling. However, reading books can just just as good a teacher as any classroom. Think about your favorite books, and then revisit them. Make notes on what you thought was great about the story, or what didn’t work for you. Don’t have on your editor or writer hat, just think about what you loved about them from a reader’s perspective. You might find that you don’t necessarily agree with some of the conventional advice out there.
- Reading Relaxes. It’s not easy to try and make a go of a writing career. There’s a lot of books out there yours can get drowned out by. Not to mention all the social media posting, editing, marketing research, organizational aspects, etc. But if you make time to sit back and escape into a new world, you’ll be able to de-stress and recharge your batteries for the day ahead. There are some, like my friend Kris Oster, that say taking time for doing something you enjoy to start the day off increases your productivity.
Let’s not even get into the reading comprehension issue (you use it or you lose it!), and the other benefits of reading. No matter what way you look at it, making time to visit your favorite fictional worlds is an important part of being a writer. What book will you read today? Comment and let me know, or just share some of your own favorites. I’d love to hear about them.