We take it as a given that those who long to see their words in print love to read, but are you reading enough? We’d be surprised if an art student rarely visited museums; or a would-be actor turned down free theatre tickets, yet it’s a common lament among editors that many aspiring writers have scant acquaintance with existing wonderful literary works.
If you aren’t nurturing yourself as a reader, you are short-changing yourself as a writer. Here’s how to invigorate your reading:
READ WIDELY: Don’t limit yourself to just one genre. Read widely and discover galaxies of exciting worlds to explore. Don’t neglect poetry, a magical realm of vivid imagery. It will encourage you to weave more artful tapestries with your prose.
ALWAYS HAVE A BOOK WITH YOU. How often have you been in a crowded waiting room and wishes you’d brought a book? Choose slim books to read on your dail;y travels.
LISTEN TO BOOKS ON TAPE: Audio books a wonderful for boring car trips; or for people too tired to read in bed at night.
READ TO A FRIEND: Enjoy reading out loud to a child, relative or other book lover. It’s a rewarding way to share a book.
FIND BOOK BUDDIES: When a friend recommends a book she’s just finished, try to read it soon after so it will still be fresh in her mind for discussion.
JOIN A BOOK CLUB: As a member, you can share the joy of books with others.
GO ONLINE: The internet is an amazing resource. Amazon.com features every literary offering you can imagine, including author interviews and even free e-mailed book recommendations.
WHEN YOU CAN’T READ A LOT, READ A LITTLE: Read plays, poems or short stories, even children’s stories. Or books that you can just dip into now and again instead of having to read cover to cover.
You never know when someone else’s words will give you the inspiration you need to put a little magic into your own. There is no better way to enrich your own writing than in reading authors who show you how to evoke emotion. I have always loved something my sister taught me when I was a child:
“Writing is dreaming, head in the skies, Reading is sharing another man’s eyes.”
Happy writing. Send me your comments . I will be happy to help with any writing problems. Some of my 14 books are available direct from me at discount prices – contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org