Reading widely and with attention is one of the best ways to improve your writing skills. I have a writer friend who buys a magazine she’s never read before every month. “I learn new things,” she says, “and I’m exposed to all sorts of different writing styles. It’ s a cheap education.”
I don’t pick up an unfamiliar magazine every month, but I do it fairly often. Sometimes the ideas horizon me because the magazine I choose is so far outside my comfort zone, like a magazine on boxing I once read. Ugh. But the style was crisp and worth noting.
I’d be less than honest if I told you I study everything I read. I don’t, not by a long shot. And I don’t finish every book I bring home from the library either. And while I do read all sorts of mind candy – mysteries and political thrillers are favorites of mine, I also check out the non-fiction often.
Reading really is part of my writing I think.
How do I find time to read? I don’t’ have television! I know that’s fairly radical, and I do have an iPad and a Netflix account. And when I travel and start to watch TV in the hotel room I soon discover why I don’t have a TV. But that’s a whole other subject.
How does reading help your writing?
Write well and often,
Image from http://www.sxc.hu