How Much Time Should Writers Spend Reading?

 

 Not sure if anyone ever came up with a good ratio of reading to writing but, there must be one. Those who read and review seem to spend about twice as much time reading as writing. Some of us spend much less time reading than we should and often less time writing than we should as well.

Whatever you decide is the right amount of reading to writing time for you; there has to be enough input to have a reasonable amount of output. Many authors consider this the most important key to writing well. If you continually feed your mind with interesting ideas, it will reward you by inspiring different ideas that could lead you to produce more writing.

There are authors who say you must fill yourself with good writing by the very best authors and others who claim it is advantageous to a writer to read everything including trash, bad writing, comic books and even cereal boxes. I tend to believe you should read everything even if only to ensure you your writing is not the worst out there. Reading everything is valuable to help you recognize the bad as well as the good.

This quote says it all- “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

― Stephen King

We know when we read a masterpiece as opposed to a good story by a creative writer. We all know when lots of the spelling and grammar is wrong. We can tell good formatting versus bad and we can be inspired by ideas even when the writing is not at the level it should be. We have different stages of writers and authors. We should aspire to be Hemingway’ and Patterson’, but, also recognize that some of them wrote for decades and you may only have a few years under your belt.

Whatever your ideal is for an author, new or old, unknown or classic, you wish to write at your best so reading everything you can will inspire, produce creativity and make you more productive. It may strengthen your knowledge and help you see how it is done by the experts. Whatever reading does for you, you will be rewarded as well as enjoy yourself. It is recreation but so much more. when an author shares their thoughts with you, it is a great gift and no one should take that lightly.

 

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