Blogging Insights # 34 – Reading


Do you think that reading is an important prerequisite for writing well? If so, what kind of reading material inspires or affects your writing?

I never took a writing course. .I never wanted to take a writing course. i was afraid it would damage my ability to write.

I learned to write by reading. By liking this, not liking that. By enjoying this book, not liking another. And, what is more, I had a certain facility with words that started when I was very young. It wasn’t something I learned. It was something I was.

That’s the thing about talent and gifts. They aren’t learned. Courses can help you write better. Improve your grammar, if you feel that better grammar is what your writing needs. It can certainly improve your punctuation, especially if you believe that your previous understanding or lack thereof of punctuation is the problem with  your writing.

I absolutely guarantee that neither of these things is your writing problem. You may not have yet found your “voice.” You might well not know what it is you want to write about. You may not have found the type of writing that suits you. I was sure I was going to be a great novelist. Nope.

I hit my stride in non-fiction. I could write news, features, information, directions, instructions. I am brilliant at explaining complicated things to people who need to understand complex information, but don’t have a technical background. But novels? No amount of grammar or punctuation would help me. I don’t have the ability to create people who live, who jump from the page and become real to a reader.

But that’s okay. Other people do it very well and I love to read.

The capacity to use words was a gift, a talent. In the course of reading everything — I really did read everything I could get my hands on — and trying different kinds of writing, I learned what I was good at. No one was more surprised than I was that technical writing became my forte since I had always considered myself non-technical. But that was before I met computers where I found my spot in the technical universe.

So where does reading come into it? Books are chock full of ideas. You might be amazed at how many great ideas come out of books that have nothing to do with the subject for which the idea is used. Ideas are sneaky little devils and reading fills you up with them.

If everybody read books, we wouldn’t be in half the messes we are in. Reading makes you smarter. Reading helps you find truth. Really. It does.

Categories: Blogging, Humor, Photography, reading, Words, Writing

Tags: , , , , , ,

16 replies

  1. Reading allows one to experience things, events, actions etc. that one would never entertain to do in real life. I read about horrors in history to learn about what not to do. It’s a big part of the learning experience – to get into the psyche of others.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I started learning English as a second language when I was 14 or so. One of my teachers’ advice was “Read, read, read”, if I wanted to really master the language. And that’s what I’ve done since. I read a lot –fiction, non-fiction, prose, poetry, plays, both books and periodicals. Both in printed and digital form. Both in Spanish and English. This has helped me tremendously to feel as comfortable expressing myself in either language. So, yes, reading makes us better at speaking and writing as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It also helps keep our aging brains alive and active. Writing AND reading AND (for example) something creative like painting, photography, carpentry, sculpting also helps. If you keep your brain alive, you get to stay alive with it 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Totally agreed. I’m surprised at the number of writers who brazenly claim they don’t have the time to read. Like one of my favourite authors, Dan Abnett says (butchered paraphrasing), “At least understand what experience you’ll get from reading before you go out and write.”

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I was writing, I had to leave extra time to also read. Because you need to get OUT of your book too and find other words and sometimes, being out of the book helps you think of some other way to say whatever you are trying to say. I really love books. I don’t know how this non-reading generation knows anything. Maybe they don’t know anything?


    • Stuart, there are folks out there who say —
      “I don’t have time to read because…
      a) they are all crap
      b) they are boring and mundane
      c) I only listen to NPR and watch “Masterpiece Theater”

      They are liars, snobs and ignorant wankers.
      Stuart, I almost automatically distance myself from these folks.


  4. I agree with you Marilyn. Reading makes us better and smarter.


Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

France & Vincent

Writing Magic, Myth and Mystery

Barb Taub

Writing & Coffee. Especially coffee.

This, That, and The Other

Random musings on life, society, and politics.

Keep it alive

A look at life, achieving good physical and mental health and happiness

Covert Novelist

Just another WordPress site

The Small Dog

Life from the Tail End

Cee's Chronic Illness Sisterhood

Peer support and hope for women with Chronic Illness and their support team.

Salted Caramel

Blogging, Motivation, Lifestyle and much more.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

Making My Home A Haven is important to me. Sharing homemaking skills. Recipes and food. Bible Studies. This is a treasure chest of goodies. So take a seat. Have a glass of tea and enjoy. You will learn all about who I am.

Green Screen

The Environmental Movie Podcast

bushboys world

Photos of my world and other stuff I hope you will enjoy too. Photos taken with Canon PowershotSX70HS Photos can be purchased.


Independent views from someone who offers some historical context


I use the best, I use the rest

My Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Views from the Edge

To See More Clearly

serial monography: forgottenman's ruminations

wandering discourse, pedantic rant, self-indulgent drivel, languorous polemic, grammarian's bête noire, poesy encroachment approaching bombast, unintended subtext in otherwise intentional context, unorthodox unorthodoxy, self-inflected rodomontade, …

draliman on life

Because sometimes life just makes you stop and think

The English Professor at Large

Posts about old Hollywood, current concerns



The Day After

Musings, Photography, Writing, and More



Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Welcome to the Anglo Swiss World


Your Source For The Coolest Science Stories

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: