Read Everything

The more I learn about the craft of writing, the more I learn there is to know. And one of the best ways to learn about writing, successful writers will tell you, is by reading. When we read not just for entertainment, but to analyze how writers we love affect us as a reader and how they create their effects, we begin to understand more about this mysterious art. Here are some musings from writers on reading to inspire and enlighten us all:

“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… Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out…”  William Faulkner

“The young people ask me about becoming a writer, and they really haven’t read, not even read the bad stuff. They haven’t experienced reading as happiness, as it were. So without some knowledge of what other writers have done, it’s very hard to find your own way, I think. We’re all thieves, I suppose.”  John Updike

“I took a number of stories by popular writers as well as others by Maupassant, O. Henry, Stevenson, etc., and studied them carefully. Modifying what I learned over the next few years, I began to sell.”  Louis L’Amour

“Playing scales, for a writer, means reading. Is there any real writing that has not reading behind it? I don’t think so.”  David Remnick

“Just as composers go to concerts and artists visit galleries, writers read. You will learn, in the most enjoyable way, more about style and language from reading good literature than you will ever acquire from workshops and how-to books.”  Judith Barrington

“Read like mad. But try to do it analytically — which can be hard, because the better and more compelling a novel is, the less conscious you will be of its devices. It’s worth trying to figure those devices out, however: they might come in useful …”  Sarah Waters

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”  Samuel Johnson

So let’s all read, read, and read some more — and then write on!


About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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