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  • Writer's picturegallagherkara

Do Writers Need to Read?

Yes. Go pick up a book.

The end.

A small section of my books. What does your book shelf look like?

Alright. In all seriousness, if you want to get better at writing, or even just write at all, reading is an essential part of the process. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a creative piece of fiction, a real memoir vignette or an email to a department or team, reading quality writing will make you a better writer.

I think sometimes we might be at risk at losing these valuable skills we may have honed when enrolled in a formal academic setting. I mean, I can have an entire conversation with my friends or husband only using emojis.

Not to say this is a bad thing. Language is fun and fluid and why not sprinkle in a creative spark in everyday communication. (A creative soul actually “translated” the bible using mostly emojis. I’m for this kind of innovation. Keeps things fresh and fun.)

However, for now, the widely accepted and preferred form of writing in actual words. And to get better at using words in a concise and comprehensive way, reading other people’s work in using them in concise and comprehensive way is a great way to do that.

Not all books are created equal.

Choose books that are on school canons or “best” lists from a source like Goodreads. Thanks to technology and the vast interweb, literally anyone can publish a book these days. And just because a book is published does not necessarily mean you need to read it.

Be discerning about your choices and do your best to simply read for enjoyment and let the author’s work absorb into your willing head and heart. My favorite book I read last year was a book by Madeline Miller called CIRCE.

This book took hold of my creative forces and stayed a while. I loved it and welcomed the inspiration and beautiful muse it brought to me. I even penned a short post inspired by the way Miller used her art to tell this story.

I would love to hear what books you have been inspired by lately and how that has trickled into your own writing.

Happy reading!

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