July 31, 2019 (Last Updated January 19, 2021)Marcy G.
“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” – Oscar Wilde
In order to become a more confident, skilled writer, practice makes perfect; This means incorporating time to write outside of your current project. Whether you jot down a random poem in the morning or journal at night, ultimately, writing more will improve your skillset and may make your own project seem like less of a labor. There’s one other vital component to writing: reading.
Reading exposes us to different stories, points of view, writing styles, vocabulary, genres, and more. You are writing something that others are going to consciously choose to read, so why would you not take time to read avidly yourself?
When was the last time you read a classic novel? Reading books by renowned authors will act as a departure from your own writing, simply because the language is used differently and you’re consuming writing that is most likely more “advanced.” How do you improve a skill? Learn from the masters.
There are several ways in which reading more can improve your writing:
· You become more in tune with writing flow and structure
(Writing flow can be assessed through different parameters: the rhythm, pace, style, chronology…it’s difficult to define, but reading more will help you recognize which authors have a good sense of flow.)
· You can evaluate character development and its progression
· You discover new words through context and enhance your vocabulary
· You develop a deeper recognition of successful storytelling
· Your knowledge on different subjects widens, giving you a range of references for your own work
· Self-critique becomes easier by being able to acknowledge what is working and what’s not
We all know that reading is great for cognitive development in children. If you grow up reading, you are more likely to have an inherent ability to write and construct a sentence. The same is true for adults; if you continue to read, the way in which you articulate yourself through writing will evolve and mature as well.