A tradesman must have the tools required, in order to do a professional job, therefore it makes sense, that a writer must read in order to improve their craft. Being advised to read more is the most beneficial piece of advice a writer can receive.
It’s hard to imagine a musician that doesn’t listen to music, or an actor who doesn’t watch the performances of their peers. Throughout our lives, we all learn by observing others. I learned how to cook by watching my mother in the kitchen.
How do you know what good writing is, if you don’t read it? In order to be able to recognise bad writing, you have to read it. While reading a well written book, you will pick up on grammar, spelling, story structure, language and dialogue.
We need to be exposed to writing that is better than our own, in order to improve. Reading well written books of our chosen genre, helps us understand what it is our target audience wants in a story.
If you are a writer, think of reading as your research. If you haven't read a good book for a while, writers block can start to creep in. Reading helps writers stay engaged, and be inspired to write stories of their own.
Life is busy and many writers, myself included, have trouble finding the time to write, never mind read. So, how can we find the time to read? There is ample time in our day, if we think about it.
Do you have an hour long commute to and from work? Try listening to an audio book in the car. Read in your lunch break at work. Do you often find yourself mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds at night before bed? Put down your device and pick up a book instead.
Reading will not only help improve your writing, other benefits include improving sleep quality, improving cognitive function and helping lift your mood. So if you want to fine tune your writing skills, find time to pick up that book and read.