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Reading vs. Writing

That subject title was actually a little hard for me to type! It's no secret that I love to read, and some of my long-time blog readers will also know that I love to write as well. Both have been central to my life for... well... for as long as I can remember, and I can't imagine living without one or the other or *shudder* both.

I also know that the vast majority of writers are readers as well; after all, reading is one of the best ways to improve writing, and the two hobbies seem to go hand-in-hand. But one thing I've noticed lately is that there are also a lot of people who like to read, but not to write.

I have to admit, this is almost a foreign notion to me. For me, I feel like whatever skill I have in writing is due mostly to the great deal of books I go through. Reading so much from such a young age lends an ear for detecting rhythm and helps provide a natural sense of how to craft a story.

For example, once I read a writing book that dissected the format of a general story, with Act I, Act II, etc., and it introduced the concept of "doorways". Reading about that was intriguing to me because I've always known on some level about this kind of structure simply because I've seen it so much in books, but I never really thought or heard about giving a name to it like that.

So, what about you? Are you a reader, a writer, or both? If you're a writer, how has reading helped you?

4 comments:

Annette said...

I really enjoy writing for my blog, but I would not really consider myself a writer. I'm fascinated by novels, and even though I've read probably thousands of them, I simply cannot imagine writing a story in such a way that others would find entertaining. I can think of story lines, but my telling them would be like, "this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened...." I really don't think I have it in me. I really wish I did, because I think it would be a fun, although stressful profession...

I don't have that "natural sense" you speak of, I guess...

Julia :) said...

I've been into writing since I was little! Of course when I was small my stories were just cutesy childhood fare. A little while ago I started writing poetry and just this past year I've started on short stories. I definitely think I've learned a lot from reading. :)

Beth said...

I'm a writer and a reader. Reading helps me stay motivated and creative and learn craft.

We Heart YA said...

All 4 of us are both readers and writers, but honestly? Thank heavens for the readers who DON'T want to write too! There's already so many aspiring writers out here. And it's not that we're afraid or averse to competition, but... well, it's never good for there to be more supply than demand.

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