There life of a writer can be exasperating as well as fulfilling. While weaving stories using the gossamer of words can be a wholesome craft, a creative block can spell doom on your career. For many writers, giving shape to ideas and stories becomes a catharsis. The words cleanse their minds as they vent their hearts out to the readers. But when writing is a career, it goes beyond expressing yourself. To be a successful writer, you need to be a complete wordsmith – someone who can write for the readers. So, how do you become one?
You read BOOKS! 91% of author are litterateurs before being successful writers. Well, the more we talk about the gems that are books, the less it is.
Here are 8 reasons why every writer needs to be a reader.
- Reading expands your knowledge
Whether you are pursuing literature or marketing management, even as a student, you must read your textbooks before doing your assignments to help learn more about the subject. It’s no different for writers either. The world is an opulent abode of history, culture, languages, and discoveries and poring through novels and work of literature can make you a better writer. As a writer, you must read across various genres and periods to expand your knowledge. With extensive knowledge, your writing is bound to be more impactful.
- Reading improves your imagination
Books are the wardrobe that takes you to your Narnia. As the Hogwarts Express, books can take your writing to the peak of magical imagination. J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, started writing novels while reading out fairy tales to her children at bedtime. So, think of all of the mystical stories yet to be told and the ways to add imagination in mundane lives. Reading fictional work will help you unlock those closets of creativity that you never knew you had in you!
- Reading inspires better penmanship
When you read more, you imbibe the styles used by other successful authors. This, in turn, helps you improve your writing skills and grow your craft. You get to learn the art of objective writing from Ernest Hemingway, infuse ideas of existentialism like Franz Kafka and play around with dark tones like Edgar Allan Poe. All of these tools and styles will only teach you to express your ideas at your evocative best.
- Reading gives you inspiration
Often, it feels likes battling against a creative block is a lost cause. Well, not so fast! Do not lose heart when you can reach a shelf and read a good book. Books can bring in the much-needed surge of inspiration when you feel stymied. Reading good stories, poetry, and memoirs can inspire you to get out of bed and pen your assignments to help you meet editorial deadlines. So, the next time you feel you are running out of ideas, take a break, and get started with a good book.
- Reading teaches you to consider your audience
You can’t become a successful writer unless you have your loyal audience to read your work. So, it is vital that you learn to write for your audience. And reading books will teach you that. Certain books are christened ‘Unputdownable’, while some rest in your bookshelf unread forever. Ever wondered why? Books with loose plot-holes can throw you off, and books that evoke emotions can keep you reading until the break of dawn. Reading will remind you how to keep your readers engaged while writing your pieces.
- Reading improves your vocabulary
Many writers use e-dictionaries to look up for better synonyms and end up using words in the wrong context. When you read more, you not only learn good words but also how to use them in the right place. If you read James Joyce’s Ulysses, you will need the lexicon after every sentence. And every time you stumble upon a new word, you get the opportunity to add a new word to your repertoire, which means more (and better) words to express yourself.
- Reading breeds writing
Imagine if the Japanese author Murasaki Shikibu had not penned “The Tale of Genji,” a story with 54 chapters that is believed to be the world’s first novel. We would not have had the universe of literature to dip our souls into. That’d be a real shame! With time, many avid readers have spun their habit of reading and journaling to a career-building vista. Reading books pave the way for writing. Even if you are not a professional writer right now, all the stories, poetry and essays will breed the gift of writing in you.
- Reading teaches you what not to do
When you read more books, you notice how grammatical errors, loose ends in plots, and inaccurate character building can be detrimental to your writing. Avid reading helps you prune and polish your penmanship skills, thus making you a better writer. You learn to be aware of clichés and how to avoid using them. Even when being explicitly illustrative, you know where to stop.
Whether it’s writing music, poetry, short stories, blogs, or school essays, writing is a craft that can be mastered with time and perseverance. If you want to be a great storyteller and follow in the footsteps of successful writers, you must read what they have written. So, what are you waiting for? Brew your favorite cup of coffee, choose a comfortable nook, and get reading.
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