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Got time to write? Then you’ve got time to read.

January 11, 2015


Writers are busy people. And when people are busy, it’s perfectly understandable that certain things be allowed to slide. I myself tend to neglect this blog when pressed for time, as was the case towards the end of last year, and if I’m really busy then I might even stop writing fiction for a while. Writing, after all, is just a hobby for me…much as I wish it could be more, at times.

But one thing I never stop doing, if I can possibly help it at all, is reading. Because, really, reading is at least as important to writers and writing itself. Without reading others’ work, how could a writer possibly know how to write good fiction? Or how not to, as the case may be?  And how. I ask, can you ever be original without a firm grasp at what has been done?

In fact, I’d go as far as to say the following: if you’re a writer who never finds time to read, then something somewhere has gone horribly wrong.

But hey, don’t take my word for it. At the end of the day, I’m just single unpublished newbie writer among tens of thousands. Why not take Stephen King’s word for it, instead? I reckon it’s safe to say a guy like him knows what he’s talking about. He has written the odd book, after all.

Not to mention, I find reading to be an excellent way wind down at the end of the day – something that’s especially important when things are getting busy. What better way to relax at in the evening than with a good book, eh? I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly struggling to think of one.

Agree? Disagree? Any thoughts to add? Feel free to share down below.


From → Writing

  1. agree agree agree

  2. I’ve seen some writers assert that they don’t read. My first thought is always, so I won’t be reading anything by them, then. For myself, I can’t imagine not being able to read.

    • Same here, really: if a writer doesn’t read, then it’s safe to say that their output will be…well, questionable.

  3. I would not want to read a book by an author who says they don’t read. I also would not want to read a book by an author who says they don’t ever read the genre they write.

    • I agree completely; if you don’t read a genre, then chances are you won’t be able to write in it. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Came across a twitter post yesterday by a writer who said King was wrong in this. I wanted to respond in the negative, but sometimes you need to leave stupid alone. I can’t understand why anyone would want to write if they don’t read. It is incomprehensible to me! I don’t know anything about said writer. Maybe she’s good. No idea. But if she’s professing such views, her marketing campaign for a self-pub book will be ignored by me.

    • Doesn’t make sense to me, either. And aside from all the other problems with this…why would an author say something like that in the middle of a promotion campaign!? All it does is sour peoples’ opinions of the book before they’ve even seen anything of it :/.

  5. It works the other way around too. If you have time to read, you have time to write.

    • Very true. Though, if it’s late in the evening then personally I’d always go with reading: writing doesn’t really relax me, much as I enjoy it, so it’s not a good thing for me to do the last thing before bed.

  6. I’m going to be very blunt and say that it’s SILLY for a writer to not read. Especially if you want to be published one day. Besides the enjoyability factor, reading helps writers by reinforcing important elements of storytelling and allowing us to see how our stories can fill unique holes in the genre and age group we’re targeting.

    On a less touchy note, I’m like you in that I do most of my reading at night. Maybe not right before I go to bed, but at least an hour or so before then.

    • Agreed; I really just don’t get HOW someone can expect to write good-quality fiction if they’ve never read said fiction. I suppose if someone’s just writing for fun then it’s fair enough (though still odd, in my view. But if that person actually hopes to get published…yeah, no.

  7. MercuryPearson permalink

    I think it’s easy to fall into a rut where we don’t read nearly as much as we should, although it’s crucial to read in order to be well-rounded.

    • Too true: it’s all too easy to let the reading slide when there’s other things going on. Thanks for commenting!

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