Reading Good

12:25:00 PM


When I first did my research on writing, I saw an offhand comment on having to read a lot.  Well, my research was not so much on writing as it was on the industry of writing, or how to nab an agent or get a nice fat royalty check every week from your New York Times bestseller. The article said to read a lot in the area you wish to write in.  Me being young and naive, I thought this was a sort of sales gimmick.  You want to write as a [insert genre] author? You wanna write in the big leagues?  You can!  Just...buy all my books, buy my imprint's books, and buy all the genre's books.  It's important to support one another as authors, after all.

Like I said, I was naive.  As far as the money aspect goes, I had forgotten about this wonderful, magical place called the public library where you can borrow any one of a thousand books for free based off of nothing but the trustworthiness of your word.  In the age of the Internet, these libraries have banded together to offer their members reciprocal lending with libraries across the state or country.
But one other thing escaped me, and apparently I needed the likes of Ray Bradbury or Stephen King shout it to me from within the pages of their works.  Reading is a giant benefit.  It is its own reward.  How?  By performing a quick Google search you can find the particulars, but here are some examples as to how reading can help.  It can:

Help with creativity.
Lower your stress level.
Be a family activity.
Increase cognitive functions.
Further your reading compression.
Expand your vocabulary.
Set reading as a priority for your children.
Improve your writing.

And how, exactly can it improve your writing?  I have many miles to traverse in this journey, but here are some areas that I have noticed it has helped me:

Experience different narratives.
Listen to different angles of voice.
Verbiage.
Dialogue.
Descriptors (or the lack of them).
Structure.
Plot.

This goes for books that are brilliant as well as those that are abysmal.  There have been many times where I have read a book and said, "You would have to try to make this book worse." (Honestly I think that more often with movies, but that is beside the point.)  We can learn as much (if not, even more) from the bad as we can from the good.

P.S. I will be posting my reading list to my author page on Facebook as the year goes on.

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1 comments

  1. I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. I am quite sure this trait was encouraged by my parents who instilled a love of reading into my young mind and heart. Some of my earliest memories are of my mother reading to my two brothers and myself. She would read from the Bible as well as other books and proceed to ask questions like, "How do you think this person felt?" What can we learn from this story? How can we apply this to our lives? I think this type of conversational reading has been lost in this generation. We are obsessed with technology and gadgets that entertain us while subsequently reducing our intelligence and capacity to learn. It is most often in the quiet moments of our lives that we begin to ask the important questions and seek the important answers. It is difficult to be introspective if we are on Facebook and Twitter the majority of our waking hours. I feel sorry for the youth of today, very few have a sense of history, the great minds that poured out their thoughts, dreams, and ideas on paper for our benefit and edification. Godspeed as you continue your journey, what you write has the potential to ripple throughout generations. That is an awesome responsibility that should never be taken lightly. Imagine how many lives were effected by The Communist Manifesto, Mein Kampf, or The Origin of Species. What we write influences for good or ill. Soli Deo Gloria! Larry

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