Becoming a writer is a natural progression for avid readers, like myself. I don’t know many writers who weren’t readers first. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that if you’re not a reader, chances are, you don’t aspire to be a writer, either. It’s just common sense. When choosing a career, you follow your interests. Or, at least you do if you want your job to be pleasant. What is there about being an avid reader that makes a good writer? What writing experience can you glean from reading?
The power of example
We all know that kids learn best from example. As it turns out, so do the rest of us. Writers gain a lot of indirect experience simply by reading. The best part about learning to write through reading is that you don’t even realize it’s an education. Who knew that when I followed Alice down the rabbit hole as a child, I was honing my writing skills?
Learn from writers you love.
Who are your favorite authors? Isn’t it true that you’ve learned to write through their example? While you whiled away the hours with your head in a good book, there was more going on than a wonderful escape from reality. As a writer, when you love the way someone writes, you come out of that experience emulating their style and their writing savvy.
Learn from writers you hate.
I can’t count the number of lessons I’ve picked up by reading the work of bad writers. How many times have you started reading a book and not even made it through the first page? Was it bad story telling skills? Was it written too dryly? Too hard to follow? Maybe they just had no talent for stringing their words into coherent sentences. As writers, it’s sometimes more important to learn what not to do from other writers we’ve read.
Good grammar and sentence structure.
When I was growing up, we lived way out in the country. Luckily, my parents had a large collection of books. By the time I was 13, I’d read them all. As a result, grammar, sentence structure and spelling came naturally to me. Therefore, writing and other school work came naturally as well. Being an avid reader subtly teaches us the rules of writing.
Reading between the lines.
Ah, the flow of the written word. As an avid reader, I learned to appreciate and implement plot twists like nobody’s business. I would drive people crazy by predicting the outcomes of their favorite shows. I loved the subtle nuances, the flow of the words and the way they brought a book to life. Eventually, I expect all that reading experience will show up somewhere in my writing. Being an avid reader is the best education a writer can get.
More from Jaipi:
When Writing Interferes With Family Time
Keeping Your Online Articles Interesting Over Time
Writing a Personal Experience Article That Doesn’t Sound Like a Blog