Does reading make you a better writer?

What books have inspired you? As an author and avid reader, I love books. I’m a diversified reader. Depending on my mood, the inspiration, or the season of life I’m in, I will pick a book that grabs my attention. Sometimes it’s the book’s cover that rivets me to take a look inside, other times, it’s the title. Or whatever grabs my interest. But there is one thing I do before I just go out and buy a book and start to read it. That is, I check out the book’s summary and then the author’s bio.

As a writer, I’m inspired by kindred spirits. If I find a book that appeals to my senses, I want to know who that author is. Are they writing fiction, inspiration, or a memoir?

A Writer’s Take on Books

Child And Book by George Hodan

Child And Book by George Hodan

What kind of books do you gravitate towards? Do you like crime fiction, autobiographies, or self-help books? Whatever you enjoy reading is probably what you enjoy writing about. But that’s not really a true statement at all. And it shouldn’t be only what you favor to read is what you write. Actually the opposite is intriguing.

Try writing a murder mystery if you’ve never read one. Or try writing romance when all you read is horror. It’s not that writing the opposite is difficult, it’s that there needs to be a stem line. When you love to read, you’re naturally inclined to write about what you read.

As a writer, you read like a writer. It’s actually a bit more challenging to read something just for the pure joy of it. Writers wear writer’s hats. Taking them off is a conscious effort. So why not try the opposite to test your mental skills. Personally, it’s a bit difficult for me to write about horror because it’s so revolting to me. Not that it’s bad, there are plenty who enjoy it, but personally it’s hostile towards me. I feel the same way about vulgar language in a book. Some authors write that way for emphasis but if I start a book and see profane language every other paragraph, it just turns me off. I used those as examples but everyone is different. There are readers who like it and authors who write it.

What kind of writer are you?

Do you spend a fair amount of time researching your subject, building your characters, and creating the scene? Authors who prep with research are far better than someone who hasn’t done their homework. As for imagination, that’s another story. All characters are imaginary, made up in the author’s mind. How they transform and develop in the story is left to the storyteller.

What is your favorite book?

If you were to think of your favorite books, what would they be? I can tell you in a minute who my favorite authors are, but for a favorite book, that might take me some time. I enjoy many books. I have hundreds on my Kindle and I borrow from the library almost weekly. I recently read My Happy Days in Hollywood: A Memoir by Garry Marshall. I enjoy reading autobiographies and this one was very interesting. Celebrity life or hero life, what kind of biography would you read?

Are you a better writer because of the books you read?

Books inspire us. They take us to another time, another place, and inside the world of another author’s mind. Books intrigue me, inspire me, and capture my attention. I read because I love the written word. As a writer, it’s the same. I write to inspire, to intrigue, to help another and because I love the symbolism of writing. I love the words.

Life is really a bunch of words all jumbled up until they fall into place in our daily world.


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