Read it Tuesday

How to Use Reading to Improve Your Writing

I’m not talking ‘how-to’ books – although they are great. I’m talking EVERYTHING else so there isn’t a list because every writer’s reading preference is different just like out writing style.

In this blog series (oh my gosh I’m even writing blog series – every book I start lately is a series *head to desk*) I’m going ‘share some tips of what works for me – take anything you like and please share what you do.
In talking to my fellow writers, I have discovered many have ‘given-up’ reading and replaced it with writing. I think reading is pivotal to writing. Not just resource reading but for pure enjoyment. Like a writing needs to be a habit (talked about that a few weeks ago) so does reading.

It can’t be a matter of just reading a book and then forgetting about reading after the initial burst of enthusiasm for reading. It has to be a habit, you create and keep for life (this little sermon comes from the crazy day job part of me).
As someone who has learned a lot about creating habits, I know that the best way to form the habit of reading is to focus on it exclusively — don’t try to form any other habits during this time. Write down your goal (i.e. “Read for 30 minutes every day” or something like that) and post it up somewhere you can see it. Tell a lot of people about it and report to them regularly to create accountability. Log your progress daily and give yourself rewards. Do this for a month and you’ll have a decent habit in place.

Why is a reading habit so important to my writing????

I get inspired. When I read great writing, I am filled with inspiration to write. Sometimes I throw down my book and go to my computer to start hacking away at the keyboard. Other times I’ll jot down stuff in my notebook for later. Use these writers to inspire you to greatness.

To be continued…. But in the meantime I’d love to hear some of the ways reading has impacted in your writing.


2 comments on “Read it Tuesday

  1. I agree with you one hundred percent! I’ve always been an avid reader. Reading inspires me-if I’m reading a really good book, I eventually want to put the book down and write. If I’m reading a book I’m not particularly crazy about, I want to put the book down and write. I read to relax after I’ve written for the day; I read when I’m waiting to pick my son up from school. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably talking to someone about books, reading or writing them. I can’t imagine being a writer and not reading! To me, it’s part of the “job”, a fun part…but still, part of being a good writer is being a reader!

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