Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Must a Writer Be a Reader? by Sadira Stone

Originally Posted on http://sadirastone.com/2019/10/must-a-writer-be-a-reader-iwsg-october-2019/

It’s been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don’t enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?
Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay.
Are you freakin’ nuts? It is impossible to be a good writer if you don’t enjoy reading. The very idea is preposterous poppycock, bombastic balderdash, ridiculous rubbish, and mush-brained madness!
Yes, there are other ways to present a story. You could create a film, though someone’s going to have to write a script. You could sit around a campfire and spin an oral yarn—an excellent choice for this spooky season. You could make sock puppets and act it out. But if you don’t love to read, if you don’t have time to read, if you don’t soak up the best in your chosen genre until you perspire concentrated story goodness, your writing will lack the skill and flair necessary to deliver a bookalicious reading experience.

As for originality, I think Mark Twain said it well:
“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.”

Give me and my writing buddies the same prompt, and you will not get the same story. Even if we’ve all just finished reading the same book. Our respective experiences and voices create different tales, even if the framework is the same.

Reading the best authors in my genre is the most important part of my education as a writer. I hope you agree.

1 comment:

Mary Cunningham said...

So agree! As a writer, you also learn from other authors in your genre. Not copy their style; learn from and appreciate the writing.