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Reading Helps Improve Your Writing  

Books

How did you learn to speak? By listening to others. How did you learn to walk? By watching others? How did you learn to eat and drink? By seeing how others do it.
So how will you learn to write? By reading!

That’s the logical and simplest answer of all. Many people believe that a writer is born but unfortunately, they are utterly mistaken.

A reader may be born, and thus develops a writer. If you want to write, you need to read!!
Reading a book is not utterly necessary. You can read the newspaper, scholarly articles on the net, poems, and other people’s works of fiction (like short stories). They may help improve your vocabulary and expose you to new writing styles.

Reading not only improves writing and knowledge but gives you an idea of the craft! It is important to read good books and retain them. You cannot absorb new ideas, improve vocabulary or writing unless you read.

Read, read and read…..that’s the best thing to do to improve writing.

Thinking further, I wouldn’t even have thought of writing until I read. Books are the gem of a writer’s life. They are far more valuable than a large pot of gold!

So reading is thus the basic for writing and a writer cannot improve until he reads!
Writing a mystery novel is not possible unless you read a mystery novel. A book/story is not born out of the air.

Only reading a book and forgetting about it may not help always.

When reading, always keep in mind to identify the genre and the author. Do a bit of additional research on the book, by reading reviews on the net. In a notepad, copy down the new words or phrases or sentences that you liked. Write your own thoughts about the book. Think how you could have molded it better.

I hope these tips help. Please share your ideas through comments!


22 comments

  1. peoplemapsjulie  

    I love your ideas on this post Meghna!

    Two things come to mind - we home educate our 10 year old and are often asked "who teaches him?". It is quite a challenge for some people to imagine that you can educate your child without being a licensed teacher! Of course, as you point out in your post - we learn and develop many skills quite naturally. From learning to walk through reading - anyone can do it.

    The second point that came to mind was something I'd heard on the radio a few weeks ago about a UNESCO report that concluded that reading for pleasure was the single biggest factor in educational achievement. That heartens me sometimes when our home ed projects are frustrating. I know we can always visit the library and we'll be moving forward and achieving lots.

  2. Meghna  

    @ Peoplemapsjulie- I totally agree with your thoughts. Developing the habit of reading, in any form, is always of great use. The books are a treasure of knowledge so certainly you will be moving forward (that doesn't mean you sun your project LOL!. I just wanted others to get to know!

  3. The Tenacious Writer  

    I agree, Meghna--reading is an important write of the work of a writer. I am always amazed at how many aspiring poets don't read poetry! Reading poetry is the first step to becoming a poet.

  4. The Tenacious Writer  

    I meant to say "reading is an important part of the work of a writer. Even writers make mistakes in writing. :-)

  5. Deb Gallardo  

    MeghnaK,

    Great post. And so very true. We learn to read by reading. We learn to write by writing. But since writing involves reading, the first and most important step in becoming a writer is imitate the masters. It's the same thing all the great artists' apprentices did. They imitated their masters. I just read an article by Steve Manning who says to absorb one writer's style (one whom you admire!) over, say, a weekend or a period of a couple of weeks, reading as many of their books as possible. By the time you've done that, their style will become a part of you.

    BUT the beautiful thing about this is this: Whatever we make a part of ourselves is altered to a great extent by who we are already. So if I read Isaac Asimov exclusively, examining how he puts words together, the techniques he uses, the phrases he employs, and if I do this for two weeks, I might "sort of" write like him. But in reality, no one else will recognize Asimov's style in my writing.

    Do this with enough good authors (one at a time!), and your own style will develop naturally and organically.

    So you are 10000% correct. Reading (and analyzing the mechanics of what you read) is ESSENTIAL to becoming a writer. We all do this to a certain extent anyway, but when we do it on purpose, and WITH a purpose, we reap soooo many benefits as writers.

    Deb Gallardo

  6. Mumbai Guy  

    Good FAQ. :)

  7. Meghna  

    @ Tenacious Writer- I agree! I have many friends who are aspiring poets but when you sit with them to discuss Wordsworth or Shakespeare, they have absolutely no idea!

  8. Meghna  

    @ MG- Thanks :P

  9. Meghna  

    @ Deb- Thanks a lot! Very rightly said- the first and most important step in becoming a writer is imitate the masters. Thanks for sharing the wonderful thought/idea with me :)


    I agree to that too. You always do leave your unique touch how much ever you try to imitate a person.
    I'll certainly try out this wonderful idea!

    It always is useful to analyze and learn!

    Thanks a lot once again, Deb, for the most enlightening comment I ever read!

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  14. Zeeshan Parvez  

    Your post is logical. How did we learn to speak? By listening to others. Thus, in order to be able to write we should read. Perhaps you can answer a question which has been bugging me. Many people say that reading books of a different genre can help improve writing. But how can that be? If I am a horror writer how can reading romance improve my writing?

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  19. Gii-Hne S. Russell  

    This is very helpful. I will be workshopping with student writers tomorrow on the writer and library. it enforeces what we always tell young writers about reading.

  20. Vocab Monk  

    Reading is very important. It is an effortless way for increasing vocabulary. Keep your attention on the new vocabulary words you come across. Learning how to use a word or which context it can be used in is an important aspect in building vocabulary.

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  22. Frederick Guyton  

    Contemplate reading of the one not less important post available for free. Reading is an integral part of writing, and both are connected tightly to each other!

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