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Is Reading the Key to Becoming a Better Writer?

The Importance of Reading

We often hear that for being a good speaker, you need to be a good listener first. If you can listen, understand, think, analyze, and organize your thoughts, you can become a good narrator. It is mandatory for a writer to be a good reader first.

Reading enhances many functions of your brain, including analytical skills, vocabulary, and helps in improving memory. Reading also increases knowledge and develops a broader perspective. These components help in building good writing skills.

In today’s society, where change is constant and rapid, reading becomes essential in remaining current.


To Be a Good Writer

We all know that reading and writing are both relevant to each other.  Most successful writers are good readers at first. Through reading, we learn new ideas, get inspirations, learn from the failures of our predecessors, and develop the sense of coping with the modern world challenges.

When developing writing skills, selecting reading material should include both good and poor examples. It enhances your vision and ability to think with more than just one perspective. Reading always inspires a writer. William Faulkner stated: “Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out the window.”

Writing is A Skill

It is difficult to complete a few courses on exploratory writing or graduate from some college with a certificate of “an expert writer.”  That is just one approach. There are also excellent writing clinics and workshops available and, of course, majoring in journalism hones skills for a specific type of writing. But ultimately, writing is an art, and it’s not an easy one. It can’t be learned simply with lessons in grammar, recognizing styles, and paragraph structure.

Good writers need to practice and evaluate the product. They learn from others, often through their reading regime.

thinking about what to write

A Few Tips on What You Need to Be a Good Writer

Writing is actually communicating; you should have the capacity to express your thoughts, musings, and feelings when speaking or writing. The most important thing as a writer is being able to put a sense of feeling into a situation. You should communicate through your words. When we talk to people “one-on-one” or in a public gathering, we express our understanding and feelings verbally, but a writer must use written words.

Communication is a Skill that Can be Honed

As a writer, one of your key objectives ought to be to associate with your readers in a voice they can comprehend and identify with. Before writing, you need to choose your audience.  A good writer has his hands on the pulse of the selected audience.

Be a Good Observer

A writer is not just a wordsmith; his skill is enhanced if he is also a psychologist, therapist, researcher, and observer at the same time. The more you observe, the more you develop your thoughts as a writer and broaden your mind.

As a writer, you’ll have to consider new thoughts or think of imaginative and unique approaches on a given issue. When writing fiction, you need to apply these observations in developing characters, situations, and solutions. Further, you need to develop your own style through the choice of words and sentence structure.


When reading or writing, the activity requires concentration and stamina. However, an important consideration is to take breaks in the midst of the work.  Without being able to relax, the writer stands a good chance of losing perspective. This advice may seem simple, but taking breaks is essential to maintain high performance.


The point has already been made that reading is an essential ingredient in becoming a good writer.  But it is also important to discuss how you read. When reading to be entertained, just enjoy the pace you set.  But when reading to learn new skills, take the time to reread, take notes, and answer questions you formulate. When reading for pleasure or entertainment, make sure you take note of new ideas, inspirational phrases, and things that resonate with you.

organizing an action plan on board

Before and After the Final Draft

After you have spent hours in reading, listening, observing and brainstorming, organize your thoughts with some form of outline.  You could use a storyboard, traditional outline, note cards, or whatever suits you. Today there are so many computer programs to help to write extended pieces.  Choose one that best fits your plan.

When you have finished, edit, edit, edit. Have others read your work and discuss the pros and cons. Those who are able to accept constructive criticism will grow.  Writing isn’t easy, but when you finished a good piece and the selected audience appreciates it, the work is so worth it.