Archive for October, 2013

Reading is Fundamental

Friday, October 18th, 2013

The purpose of this blog was to give me an outlet to talk about something other than dieting, and to that end, it had to be about writing. So I ramble from time to time about the non-progress of my one or two or five novels-in-progress. I bemoan in a most self-deprecating fashion how I just can't seem to get anywhere. I occasionally discuss the publishing industry itself. But until literally just now (and I mean "literally" literally) I realized: I never talk about reading.

Reading is, of course, the whole point. While I'm sure there are some who enjoy writing and never care that a single soul ever read their words, the vast majority of writers intend to be read.

Further, for those of us who do write (or at least try to) we surround ourselves with other writers. We have friends who write. We've personally friended three hundred and thirty seven thousand other NaNoWriMo participants. It's easy to forget that the Readers still (thankfully) outnumber the Writers by at least a couple orders of magnitude.

But beyond the desire to be read and the large Reader:Writer ratio, what makes reading so important to writers? I hope the answer is obvious. This is our craft. And to perfect one's craft means studying the work of one's peers. Think of a painter who never visits and art gallery. A chef who never eats out. A musician who never illegally downloads MP3s.

It expands your mind and simply makes you a better you.

There's also one additional side benefit. It helps you find out what's already been written. I learned this the hard way after spending nineteen years writing a seven-volume story of a young, orphaned boy who discovers he's a wizard and must defeat the greatest dark wizard ever. Think of what I could have done with all that time instead of writing The Magical Adventures of Henry Porter.

And please enjoy the continuing adventures of Allie Brosh at Hyperbole and a Half. I can only dream of what it might be like to create such an incredible meme as the image above.

Posted in Musings |