Want to Be a Better Writer? Read More.

Can you imagine a musician who does not listen to music himself? The same question can be asked about writing.
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"It usually helps me write by reading -- somehow the reading gear in your head turns the writing gear." -Steven Wright

Reading is fashionable. Again. It's cool. We bet you all can find many statements about how good and useful reading is, how much it can influence a person and his way of thinking, and how awesome it is to sit on your cozy sofa, reading your favorite book and diving (not literally of course) into this imaginary and so wonderful world...

And all such statements are true, actually. Many famous writers, singers, politicians, and even movie characters prove the fact of reading's great influence on people's mind: if you take a look at their bookshelves, you'll definitely be surprised. (Check out the infographic at the end of this post.)

"If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that." -Stephen King

These words of the "Great Master" and famous American essayist can hardly be objected, taking into account his writing skills and his books' importance for several generations of readers from different countries. Does it mean you should read a lot if you want to write like a professional? The answer to this question is quite predictable: yes, you should.

No good writing is possible without reading. Any proof needed? No problem.

How Reading Influences Your Writing

Being a writer, you'll probably agree with the fact that the art of writing is nearly impossible to teach. It is impossible to finish some courses on creative writing or graduate from some university with a diploma of "a professional writer." Do you consider it possible? We have bad news for you then.

Writing is a skill. But this skill is very complicated, because it can't be got by simple learning of grammar rules, punctuation marks, and different writing techniques. Certainly, you should know how to write correctly, but only reading can help you achieve greatness. How?

  • It helps you find inspiration
  • It lets you gain new knowledge
  • It helps you learn your genre better
  • It provides you with wider vocabulary for your own works
  • It makes you understand the language better
  • It helps you learn from real gurus of writing
  • It helps you reveal the secrets of this job in practice

Can you imagine a musician who does not listen to music himself? The same question can be asked about writing. Every author writes for readers; no grammar rules and writing techniques will help you understand your reader if you do not read yourself.

Enjoy what you read. It is difficult and mostly impossible to write something really good if you did not experience anything good that had been written already. Being a writer yourself, you have an ace in your sleeve: you can read a book with an eye for writing, though you do not even realize it.

Everything you learn as a reader, you can use as a writer afterward. But even if becoming the second Ray Bradbury is not your plan, it is not a reason to forget about reading and consider it useless at once.

How reading influences your study

Want it or not, but you have to read much during your study at school or university. Have you ever considered reading War and Peace the worst curse and nightmare of your student life? You do not even imagine how wrong you were.

Numerous scientific research studies prove the positive impact of reading on pupils and students' minds: the more you read at school, the better your vocabulary and cognitive skills become; reading helps kids define who they are, as it connects them to the rest of the whole world; moreover, books can infinitely expand your general view of this world...

Any more reasons for reading in school and college needed?

  • Reading widens a vocabulary, broadens a kid's mind, helps him understand the world better
  • Kids who read at home become more prepared for school
  • Reading allows students to use new text models for their successful academic writing
  • It deepens their knowledge of a subject itself
  • It helps students remember grammar rules even without learning them

Poor reading skills can lead to a person's social exclusion. According to the Basic Skills Agency's study, pupils who are functionally illiterate at 16 (the age they usually leave school) consider school a simple waste of time and become most likely unemployed by the age of 30, as they do not believe anything they do can have a real effect on their lives.

But it would be a big mistake to consider reading only a tool for gaining literacy because it influences our physical and psychological condition as well. Do you want to know how? Keep reading!

How reading influences you in general

Science confirms that reading has a positive influence on your brain: blood flows to it, improving brain's functioning and connectivity; moreover, it has been proved that this functioning improves for days! So, read books -- and you will help your brain function better.

Other positive impacts of reading include:

Do not ignore reading because it really makes our lives easier. It helps us understand all feelings and events, it makes us better, it teaches us to respect people, it broadens our minds, and it opens our hearts to everything new.

Read everything you like, everything that's relevant to your feelings now, everything you believe in. Let a book open your mind and help you feel love toward the world around you. As Ernest Hemingway said, "There is no friend as loyal as a book." So, maybe it's high time to find your best friend among a fabulous kaleidoscope of writing masterpieces?

Mike Hanski is a content strategist for businesses in various industries and an occasional musician. Check out his
blog where he writes about college life and feel free to contact him on

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