Cindy’s Rules for Writers #4

Rule #4

Read. Everyday, whenever you have a bit of time, read. Not just anything, although that is good for a different reason, but the kind of writing that you want to do. If you want to be a journalist, read newspapers and magazines. If you want to be a novelist, read novels. If you want to be a poet, read poetry. Not just a little, but a lot. Get to know different styles of writing. Read works by great writers that you can model your writing after. Yes, I believe a lot of what you learn as a writer can happen by osmosis–in this case, just reading a lot of excellent writing–because you remember a bit of what you read (if your memory is better, you’ll remember a lot!), and what you remember will seep into your writing. But don’t just read excellent writing. Read the really bad writing too, and those in between. If you can distinguish the bad writing from the good writing, you’ll be able to apply that to your writing. You will know when your writing is good and when it is bad. You will learn how to avoid the bad writing and write better. I’m willing to bet that no good writer ever became good at writing without having reading a lot. What are you waiting for? Go get something to read!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Debb Stanton
    Jun 22, 2013 @ 18:03:17

    I agree with this so much, Cindy! My writing prof always said, “To be a good writer, be a good reader.” You’ll be glad to know, I started a reading program for myself for the summer (and hopefully into the other seasons, too!), and made a page for it in my blog. So far I am only about a week behind. 🙂

    Reply

    • mimrlith
      Jun 22, 2013 @ 21:39:27

      Good for you, Debb! Even if you don’t plan to be a writer, reading is good for anyone in so many ways!

      Reply

      • Debb Stanton
        Jun 22, 2013 @ 23:32:12

        Thanks! Actually, for writing, my list is about 12 projects long, plus I write four blogs now. But you’re right, reading is good for anyone – and much better than TV! 🙂

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