Writing Tip of the Week: Read a lot and Write a lot

Picture Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/writing-advice-from-famous-authors
Picture Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/writing-advice-from-famous-authors

Today I was racking my brain trying to think of a good writing tip to share today (it seems I’ve shared all the good ones) and I happened to find this article and found myself nodding along with pretty much all of the quotes by famous authors. So I decided it might be fun to pick one and discuss it. I’m going to discuss a quote by Stephen King, which is pictured above. “If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

I find Stephen King’s advice to ring very true. By reading a lot, you expose yourself to a variety of writing styles and ideas. Since I write young-adult, I tend to mostly read young-adult books. However, I read all kinds to get a feel for what’s out there, and to experience other authors and styles. I also try to read other kinds of books to keep things fresh and to go past my “comfort” zone. I think it’s good to get a taste of all kinds of genres and authors, even if you later discover that they just aren’t for you.

Reading a lot can also improve your own writing. I can’t think of any specifics, but I am aware that my writing tends to sound and flow better after I read books with amazing writing. It’s like my subconscious is at work. Reading can also give you inspiration if you find yourself stuck, expand your vocabulary, help you experience new things and ideas, and more.

If you want to seriously be a writer, then you’re also going to have to write. A lot. It isn’t enough to just write a novel. You have to revise and edit and revise it a few more times until you feel your work is ready. Some ideas you come up with just might not pan out no matter how hard you try to write them. Writing a lot will also improve your writing. You know what they say–practice makes perfect. The more you write and work to refine your writing, the better it will get. It may take a long time, but I think in the end, it’s worth it.

Do you agree with Stephen King? Why or why not? And if you write, do you read a lot? Do you write a lot? Do you think it helps?

Since I’m beginning to run out of ideas for writing tips off the top of my head, if you can think of anything that I haven’t covered or something you are particularly interested in, please let me know.

jncahill_name

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2 thoughts on “Writing Tip of the Week: Read a lot and Write a lot

  1. I definitely agree. You can’t be a writer if you don’t read. Reading books is what got us writing in the first place, and it’d be a shame to stop. There are so many different elements we wouldn’t be exposed to if we didn’t read, such as styles, expressions and techniques. Like you said, it’s good to get a feel for what’s out there. 🙂

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