How Reading Influences Your Writing

Reading and writing go hand-in-hand, much like the proverbial peanut butter and jam or coffee and milk. Cheesy and food-related analogies aside, reading and writing complement one another—the more you do of one, the better you’ll likely get at the other. For anyone looking to make their mark as a writer, it’s imperative for you to develop a proficiency for reading the written word.

If You Don’t Have Time to Read, You Don’t Have Time to Write
Of course, reading is often associated with a way to while away the time, but it’s also very critical for building upon your ability to write in a way that engages your reader. Reading the works of different authors who employ different writing styles will help you define your own style—even if you aren’t aware of it. So remember, if you want to become a good writer, take a book with you wherever you go and squirrel away a few minutes here and there to read a chapter or two whenever the opportunity arises. If you aren’t willing to do that, penning the next great American (or Canadian) novel won’t be in the cards.

Reading is Like Maintaining a Healthy Diet – Bad Reading Habits Will Show in Your Writing
You know how good you feel when you eat something healthy rather than scarfing down a discounted combo at the local burger shack? Nutritious food that fuels your body feels much better than empty calories and carbs. Would it surprise you to learn then that the same principle holds true when it comes to the type of things you read? A study conducted by the University of Florida examined the reading habits of 48 students and evaluated how their reading material of choice improved or hindered their ability to write at a level proportionate to their level of education. Not surprisingly, the study concluded that the students that indulged primarily in pop culture content like that produced by Buzzfeed and Reddit scored significantly poorer in their ability to write when compared to students who spent time reading literary fiction and academic works.

The Most Successful People Are Readers – But Are You Reading the Right Way?
Do you read by skimming content, or do you read slowly and methodically, taking in every word and paying attention to each detail? Given the choice, would you opt for a supermarket tabloid or a celebrated work of literary fiction? If you sided with the latter options in the preceding sentence, you’re much more likely to become a better writer. Why? The first reason is that deep, slow, immersive reading activates the parts of your brain that are responsible for improving your ability to communicate. The second reason is that classic literary fiction is a rich tapestry of metaphors, similes, and other literary devices that engage the same parts of your brain that become active when you experience something first hand. So remember, if you want to improve your writing, devote some time to reading and appreciating the classics rather than something that doesn’t excite your brain.

Reading Expands Your Knowledge and Understanding of Language
Writing is a difficult endeavor, and there are some very specific ways to make it a little easier. Not only does reading a variety of materials increase a writer’s general knowledge on numerous topics, but it also allows their understanding of knowledge to evolve. Reading voraciously can also help a writer figure out what genre they’d like to focus on, increase their vocabulary and of course, find inspiration.

Purchase Books Online and Read as Much as You Can
Now that you know just how important keeping your nose buried in a book is to become a writer yourself, it’s high time that you start building your collection. There are millions of titles available at, so you needn’t look far. Just remember: the key to improving your writing is to be mindful of what you read, be deliberate in how you read it and read as often as possible. Follow these instructions and you’ll soon see a noticeable improvement in your writing.

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