Writing with Willow: The Importance of Reading

Listen, this is a book blog. I can talk all day and night about how important reading is, and you, Reader, probably know that! But when it comes to writing, reading is special in a different kind of way. 

Why reading? Well, the best writing advice I’ve ever received is to read as much as possible, across all genres and types of books. I used to think if you wanted to write a story in a certain genre or with certain themes, you could only gain knowledge on those subjects by reading in the same genre. It makes sense on paper; if you want to be a good horror writer, you’d better keep reading all the horror books you can get your hands on right? To an extent, sure, but after having received that writing advice and actually making an effort to not restrict myself, I’ve found that I’m a much happier reader and a much more prepared writer. 

Reading widely has helped me realise what kind of writer I want to be, and has given me context for how other writers are presenting their stories. It creates a solid knowledge base, and seeing different perspectives can really help hone writing skills. It’s great for helping you figure out what you do or do not want to do as a writer, and even what gaps are in the market. 

Honestly, nothing will be able to help you with your writing quite like reading does. Writing is a buildable skill, with so much room for growth and development. You can practice writing through all kinds of exercises and assignments and project work, but reading is a necessary supplement to help make it extraordinary. 

When speaking of diverse reads, I also think reading is crucial when wanting to write stories of that nature that aren’t from your own experiences. Reading can give you a look into how you can effectively and respectfully create works with diverse narratives in a context outside of directly speaking to folks in the communities you want to represent. 

All in all, reading is crucial to writing. It should never be stopped, even if you get as big as Tolkien one day. Plus, you get to keep exploring new worlds and participate in supporting fellow writers. So keep reading!!

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