A Lesson by guy drori

The title says it all . . . does it not?


It is no secret that to become a better writer, you need to read. This advice is the most common one, said by every writer. Some are taken aback by hearing others say they must READ READ READ. Do not feel alarmed! When writers repeat the words 'read' it is not because they expect you to be with a book in your hand twenty four seven. (Otherwise you won't be able to make time for your own writing.) They are simply accentuating the importance of reading.


This advice is supposedly simple, yet many do not seem to follow it. Why? The first claim some make is that they don't have time to read. First of all, 'don't have time' is not a concept that exists. Second of all, if you see that you have a tight schedule, then be sure to MAKE time. Even if it means going to sleep half an hour later than you usually do. Others state they fear reading while writing their own novel, for they are afraid to steal ideas. Differentiating between 'stealing' and 'being inspired by' is essential. The second book I had written, for instance, was inspired by a novel I read by the author Joy Fielding. I did not 'steal' her characters, style of writing or plot. I simply implanted certain ideas she had written to my own novel while making creative changes. If I wouldn't have read her book, I probably wouldn't have written my own.

Furthermore, reading is bound to improve your writing, as it is part of studying the craft. It need be a given to observe the work of those who also engage in your profession. Be certain that every basketball player watches clips of Michael Jordan and other basketball players. Singers hear songs of other musicians. Dancers watch other dancers. With us, it is no different - yet instead of watching clips or using our hearing sense, we use our eyes to read the works of others. 

I agree . . . there are books out there that are a disgrace to literature (no names, but you can guess to which ones I am referring to.) Fortunately, there are many well-written novels on the shelves just waiting to be bought and read. Moreover, avoid solely reading books of authors you know of. I really like John Green for instance - the author of 'The Fault in Our Stars.' I bought all his books - planning to buy more of his future-published novels. But I also make sure to buy books of authors I had not yet heard of. Expose yourself to new authors. Worst case scenario - you bought a book you didn't like and ceased to read it before reaching the end. No big deal. Happened to me with a book I read not too long ago. It was a novel I had already began reading a year ago, closed it for what I thought would be forever after the first few pages, and re-read it a while ago. Again, I could not get passed page thirty, for the plot and characters made me fall asleep. I gave up, and donated it to my high-school library.


You must have heard many writers claim they used to read anything they could get their hands on. Personally, I am not a fan of reading merely for the sake of it. If you don't enjoy what you read - don't do it! As I have mentioned in the paragraph above, if you bought a novel that doesn't interest you, donate it or give to a friend as a gift. That is not to say you should give up on the first chapter. Yet if you already reached chapter five and you feel like committing suicide - save yourself the aggravation and close the damn novel! 


At last, the most important thing is to enjoy reading, because . . . it is simply FUN! Not every reader likes writing, but every writer - in most cases, likes reading. A writer who doesn't like reading? Bizarre if you ask me. I advise reading half an hour a day minimum. If you wish to make time for more, have at it! 


Now take a break, grab that book from your shelf, and drift off to a universe far, far away . . .  


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Added on October 23, 2016
Last Updated on October 23, 2016

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guy drori
guy drori

What is life without art? I've been writing since I was 8 years old, and it is my main passion. I love inspiring other people as much as being inspired by others, and when my work touches the crowd I ..