Writer Readers, Reader Writers

I’m just as much a reader as a writer. And I’m a writer who loves to read. Which should come first? If you’re like me, you know it’s dangerous to start reading before you’ve finished your word count at the keyboard. I’m likely to tell myself I’m going to read “a few pages,” then look up and see it’s past time to start dinner. Writers are almost always avid readers who enter a novel or nonfiction world and forget to leave a trail of breadcrumbs. We get lost. The avid writer who isn’t a reader may get in word count but will most likely suffer a deficit in awareness, technique and understanding of literature. Likewise, a reader who never gets around to writing probably won’t succeed in writing. How should writers prioritize these two complementary disciplines?

Writing Tip for Today: I believe it’s unwise to let reading keep you from writing. There are plenty of places where writing is more difficult than reading: Car trips, waiting rooms, bathrooms, interludes where you know you don’t have the time to get into the Zone. Use those times (and before bedtime when your eyes are droopy) to read. Times when you are fresh, energetic and have at least a 15-30 minutes to sit at the keyboard, write. The only exception might be times when you are blocked or frustrated. If you can discipline yourself to keep reading time to a “few pages” you may gain inspiration from a book you admire. Read and write, write and read. Find a balance that leaves time for both and you’ll make progress in your writing skills and become a well-read writer.

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest0Email this to someone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *