The internet these days seems to be littered with advice; some good, some bad.
One thing this world loves to harp on about, is WRITING. We can never get enough of it, and we can’t seem to grasp it as well as we’d like to.
It’s an utter mess.
Some of us scour the web (Me, for instance) searching for an article that will shed some light on the subject.
But, no matter how hard we try, the articles often turn up as duds and rarely offer the help we truly desire, and, deserve.
There’s actually a tried and true method for improved writing! Yes, I mean it!
And no, this post is not going to be like every other article out there; listing instructions that you MUST follow in order to improve.
My method for literary growth is quite simple, in some ways ancient, and it has worked for nearly every author in the world.
It’s called… Reading.
Wait, wait! Don’t grab your pitchforks and your torches just yet – I’ll explain why the simple act of reading, is one of the most important tools in a writer’s arsenal.
When we read, all sorts of areas in our brain are activated, and in more ways than one we place ourselves in the shoes of the characters in the story. We connect with the emotions, the scenery, the symbolism, and the dialogue – in a way, we enter into the world the author has ingeniously weaved.
As we absorb new worlds, new information, and process the stories of other authors: we learn.
Without having to use much effort or energy, we begin to pick up the sentence structure, words, and descriptions of the books we read – it all gets sucked up into our hungry mind, and placed on the back-burner for when we ourselves need to write.
So, with each book we digest, with each magazine and online copy we devour, our writing abilities automatically improve.
With this knowledge, a writer can utilise books to their advantage in a way they’ve never thought of before!
Begin reading the classics!
Absorb the gorgeous prose of Charles Dickens, and the imaginative expanse of H.G. Wells. Delve into Emily Bronte. Take leaps and bounds and dive into the poetic throes of Edgar Allan Poe! Take on the big leagues.
As we read the old, we create a foundation for the new; our vocabularies stretch across the horizon, and our descriptions concoct imagery that leaves readers floored.
The more words and narratives we fill our hungry literary stomachs with, the more we become weaponised writers ready to pull a fantastical and bewildering trigger. A trigger that unleashes a flurry of great writing and entrancing prose.
What most bloggers and writers forget, as they drum out a hundred articles a week, telling other writers how to write. Is that, the one thing that got them passionate about writing was, well… Writing!
Novels both fictional and nonfictional, are the reason for why most of us are in this industry or attempting to get into it. We’re not here for the most part, because of a haphazard whim or drunken bet!
We are struggling with each grueling day and rasping breath in this world of words, because we love to read, and in consequence, love to write. It’s not the other way round!
To truly become the writers and literary geniuses we all want to be, it’s absolutely paramount that we return to our roots.
We need to read.
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” – Mr. Stephen King