You might think that reading books serves no other purpose asides from entertainment purposes, but this isn’t exactly true.
Stephen King, a well-known writer, once said that if you don’t have the time to read books, then you simply don’t have time to write.
Both reading and writing are interconnected with one another – it’s as simple as that.
Does reading make you a better writer?
Reading indeed makes you a better writer. When you read, you expose yourself to all kinds of writing styles and vocabulary that you can use to your advantage as a writer. If you don’t read books, you’re relying on an extremely limited source of information for your writing skills.
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How does reading make you a better writer?
I’ve mentioned earlier in this article that you can become a better writer when reading as you’re exposed to different writing styles and techniques.
As a writer, you experiment with different techniques until you find your write and reading several books from different genres can help you with this.
Whether you’re an aspiring writer or you’ve been writing for a long period, reading books will help you find the writing technique you’re looking for.
You then learn when to end a sentence and how to begin a sentence, or when to make your words formal compared to adding a creative touch to them.
It’s these things that will turn around everything you ever knew about writing techniques. Reading books can help you see that there’s an entire world of techniques you can learn from.
Despite the fact that we live in a modern world where everything can be found in Google, there are still limitations on the internet. Not all quotations, anecdotes, and references can be found online, especially if from a well-known book or author.
Using strong references can benefit your writing effectively, especially when you’re trying to make a strong argument. In fact, this goes for whatever genre you’re trying to write, both for fiction or non-fiction.
You can’t rely on the expertise of your writing styles and expertise solely without comparing how other writers would go about it.
Comparison is one of the primary aspects on why reading makes you a better writer compared to not reading at all.
If you don’t read anything else, how can you expect that your writing comes close to exemplary compared to other writers who’ve written on a similar subject? Ignorance on other writing techniques will result in an average writing style when you can use other books to become a better writer.
One of the best pieces of advice is to write a book on something you know hasn’t been written yet, but if you’ve never opened a single book, you wouldn’t know which ones have been written. Being well-read is the best thing you can do that will make you stand out as a writer against the rest.
While all the above-mentioned act as the foundations for writing, what makes you a writer is your ability to put your ideas, imagination, and creativity into paper. Content creation is the very heart of what writing is all about.
Several writers will tell you that when they deal with Writer’s Block, reading books help them produce ideas and concepts on what to write about. To put it simply, the more books you read, the more thoughts you have to generate and create – and this is what makes you a great writer.
What should you read to become a better writer?
Most writers will tell you to start with reading non-fiction books as they are rather informative and knowledgeable. Non-fiction novels such as self-help will give you different perspectives to help you be inspired on different writing styles and topics to write about.
However, this doesn’t apply to all writers as not everyone thrives with reading or writing non-fiction content. The most relatable advice for a writer is to read the genre that applies to what you’re writing about the most.
If you plan to write a fiction novel that’s based on creativity and fantasy, you need to find a book that’s based on exactly that. What you read depends primarily on what kind of writer you aspire to be as there are several kinds of writers out there.
Most importantly, you shouldn’t skip out on reading non-fiction altogether because there are books that will give you concrete advice on how to become a better writer – and you won’t get this with any other genre or article. These books normally come from authors that have the intention of helping you become equipped with better writing strategies.
Does reading also improve your eloquence?
Reading books expand your vocabulary and grammar, which are both crucial skills you need to become an adequate writer.
Having a strong vocabulary as a writer will give you a strong foundation for compelling and powerful sentences and phrases.
Reading different books from different authors gives you a lot of perspective to be an eloquent writer and converse. It doesn’t just make you sound smarter and intelligent, but it makes have the wisdom is takes to write things from each angle.
What makes a good writer is your ability to not just stick to one genre, but to explore different angles and still be able to write from something you’re unfamiliar with.
You don’t just guess your way around in writing them, but it’s through your experience with books that gives you the credibility to become that good of a writer.
Without being exposed to books, you’ll simply remain having a mundane and average wisdom which can easily hold you back from becoming a good writer.
Reading does improve your eloquence, especially when you’re someone who’s known to regularly read books from all kinds of genres to give yourself different views on things.
Reading alone won’t make you a better writer
When it comes down to it, reading alone doesn’t make you a better writer. Despite the strong pieces of evidence of everything I’ve mentioned above, you can’t depend on reading alone to make you a successful and adequate writer.
Writing takes skill, dedication, passion, and creativity to be successful. You can’t learn everything you need to know about writing in books, but it also takes practice and experience to become a great writer.
What a lot of writers won’t tell you is behind every successful novel and article they’ve written was several bad drafts and several rejections they’ve experienced from well-known publishers and editors. Reading alone won’t make you a better writer, but it can act as the foundation of what made you into one.
Even reading all the self-help novels on writing won’t help you achieve a perfect or qualifiable standard of writing. However, there are other ways you can equip yourself with writing skills asides from reading alone, which we’ll be listing down in the following.
This is an important one as you can’t learn passion – it’s something you either have or you don’t. You can read all the books in the world but if you don’t have the desire it takes to write and share your words with the world, it’s pointless.
Passion is the very thing that separates good writers from those that don’t make it in as an author or writer. In the end, your passion is the core of what drives all your decisions as a writer.
2. Constructive criticism
Pride and ego are both things you need to let go of if you want to be a better writer. Accept that not everyone will like your work and take it as an opportunity to improve your writing techniques and skills.
This is also the part where you learn that you can never please everyone with your writing. Accept everyone’s feedbacks and simply use it as a stepping stone to improve your skills.
3. Attention to detail
Writers are the most attentive to detail of anyone in the world and that’s a quality you need to have. This is also the reason why writers edit and browse through their work several times before submission.
Take note of every detail in your work, including in the books and articles you read from others. Your attention to detail will go a long way when applying this to your own work.
Similar to passion, determination isn’t something you can learn as it’s something you naturally have or don’t have. When a writer has determination to succeed, all their decisions are reflected by that determination to be a better writer.
When you’re determined to become the best writer you can possibly, you’ll do everything it takes to work on your skills, no matter how much time and energy you pour into your work. This is one of the most admirable traits that you need to have as an aspiring writer.
In the end, these are 4 things you need to take note off on why reading alone won’t suffice in helping you succeed as a writer. However, reading does act as the best foundation to equip yourself in becoming a better writer.