Reading every day is almost as important as writing every day for a writer.
Because reading creates a foundation of knowledge that pays off over and over again for a writer.
That foundation includes the content that we read, especially if we’re reading craft books and how-to books. But, it also pays off big time when we read works in our own genre.
If you’re writing mystery, seeing how another author plots and paces their book informs you. If you’re writing literary fiction, seeing how another author describes setting informs you. If you’re reading thrillers, seeing how another author develops tension informs you. On and on it goes. Seeing how another author entrances you, attracts you, engages you informs your writing.
There are some authors who say they don’t want to read because it might inform their writing, might alter what they’re writing. I say, that’s exactly why you want to be reading. We should be influenced by all the work that has come before our own.
We simply become better writers by reading the work of others.
Stephen King wrote “if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.”
It really is that simple. We become better writers when we read…
Join us for a discussion of Kings, On Writing, Thursday, January 30, at 7 pm.
The January Book of the Month is On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King.
Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.
“Long live the King”
hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part
memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this
superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft,
comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice
is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a
writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal
accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living
spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On
Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and
anyone who loves a great story well told.
Get your copy at The Writer Workshop Bookstore or on Amazon
We’ll be talking about the book over coffee and wine on Thursday, January 30th at 7pm at The Writer Workshop. (1190 King George Blvd #A7, Savannah, GA 31419)
I’ve stopped creating New Year’s Resolutions many years ago. After all, my resolution is always the same: Write Every Day! Simple. Not always easy to keep that resolution, but I strive for it and come pretty close.
So, instead of setting goals or creating rules that, generally, are out the window before February blows in, I spend an hour or two on or around the first of January reading, once more, The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. While not all of it applies, and rules–especially grammar rules–are meant to be broken, I find that having a strong grammar foundation and basic rules of style reinforced at least once a year gives me a foundation from which to break the rules with thoughtful intention. Plus, I like White’s wittiness.
The Little Book remains a quick-reference go-to book. It’s where I start my English Composition Students. And, it’s my recommendation for writers who don’t yet have a strong grammar foundation. Why? Because it’s short (only 88 pages in most editions) and it generally gives the necessary rules of grammar and style that the English speaking and writing world have collectively agreed upon. And, did I mention that White’s pretty funny.
So, instead of making resolutions you already know you’re going to break, just as you do every year? Why not spend a bit of time reading a time-honored classic and improving your writing for the rest of the new year…
Available in The Writer Workshop Bookstore and on Amazon.