“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”In many ways, it just goes without saying. To be a good writer, you have to read. And I'm not talking about self-help, learn how to write guides. There are a lot of those out there, and we've shared a lot of ideas from such publications. Authors have an abundance of advice to give readers, lists of 'dos' and 'don'ts.' Honestly it can all become pretty exhausting. But in the end, you can read every 'how-to' book there is on writing, and your writing still may not shine. You my know every craft 'rule' and phrase ever conceived of, but that doesn't mean you can implement them. But why?
― Stephen King
Experience. That's what it comes down to. Like every profession, every talent, every aspiration there is more to it than just doing. You have to learn your craft, and you can't just go in knowing everything. Authors are invaluable tools that should never be wasted. They can offer an abundance of advice, but I think the strongest words that many authors can give are those that work in the novels they publish themselves.
Many tools out there can help you when you write, but nothing as much as reading, and dare I say it, borrowing from other authors. I do not mean stealing. You know that author you really like, that writing style that you really connect with and love to read? Try writing like that, see if your words can flow in the same way his or hers flow with you. What does an author do that really works in their writing? What resounds with you? Can you mimic them? Can you find from their voice your own? The best writing comes from reading, it is just up to the writer to take the time to do it. So next time you're really itching to write but find yourself unable to, instead of trying to force it or picking up one of the hundreds of self-help writing guides (unless that's what you are craving) pick up that favorite novel of yours and read it, and think to yourself, 'What do I love about this book? What is the author doing here that works? Why does it work? And if it works for me, does it work for others?'
But never overwhelm yourself, that is key. Don't force yourself to write in a way you can't, but never forget the importance of stepping away from your keyboard and turning the pages. Because you gained your desire to write from somewhere, from someone else's work. I believe it's important to rediscover that every now and then.
And who knows, in the future, you may be that inspiration to a aspiring author!