1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice

Reading with Intent

Published by Scott Berman in the blog Scott Berman's blog. Views: 102

When learning to write the number 1 tip you will probably hear is "read, and read a lot". You'll find no true disagreement here, but at first it had me scratching my head. I do read a lot, maybe not a huge variety and maybe not as much as others, but I'm quite sure that I'm considered quite well-read for my age. With that in mind, does that mean I've fulfilled the requirement of reading a lot to be a writer? Of course not, even if I've read a lot I haven't read nearly enough. You can never read enough. That isn't the only reason though. Those books I used to read were read for enjoyment, and not for the intent if learning.

This weekend I read Isaac Asimov's "Foundation and Empire". I read the first one as a guy enjoying a story, but this time I read as a writer. This little difference, which had little effect on the actual process of reading, actually had a difference in the effect of reading. By reading with the intent to learn I was able to recognize the elements of Asimov's writing that made his story so compelling. Now I don't only know that I like Asimov, but I know why I do.

So when someone tells a writer they need to read, they need to know that just reading isn't enough. Reading with intent is how we learn.
You need to be logged in to comment