1. goeswithgod
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    goeswithgod Member

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    Reading VS Writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by goeswithgod, Aug 3, 2010.

    Hi-de-hi.
    Here's a thing - everyone says that the best school of writing is to read other books, lots of books, good, bad, books about everything, personal preference be damned.
    BUT - and here's the 'but', whenever I sit down to read something, I think 'I should be writing now, how will I ever get something published if I waste my time reading....' <and so on>
    HOWEVER, as soon as I get the ol' pen out, I soon discover that I'm the literary equivalent to a lapcat with a laptop - completely ignorant and unprepared. 'I really ought to read more books if I'm going to play writer'
    And so the whole dreadful, soul-sucking cycle continues...
    Anyone relate to this?
    Any suggestions?
    Any publishers in the midsts of a psychotic episode willing to take me on on the strength of this one post alone?
    Over to you, Public!
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    hi

    LOL I generally do both, but right now I am pretty immersed in my own story.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You must let go of the idea that reading is not of worth. The few days that it takes to read a moderately sized novel is negligible in the grand scheme of things.

    That, and patience. You may not get published tomorrow or the next day. ;)
     
  4. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is accepted wisdom that to be a good writer, it is necessary to read a lot, and common sense dictates that it is true.

    Having said that, I am not a prolific reader, but I have written a well-received novel and am working on a second. Would my work have been improved had I been more of a reader?

    I guess I'll never know. ;)
     
  5. goeswithgod
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    goeswithgod Member

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    I don't have TIME for patience, god dammit! ;)
     
  6. jwilder
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    jwilder Member

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    Read when you want to. Write when you want to. The two are not mutually inclusive. I tend to write more frequently, and for longer segments, when I'm reading a novel or two at the same time. Books tend to fire my creative synapes, I suppose. But you don't have to be a voracious reader to put out a great novel. You just have to be a voracious writer.
     
  7. ryu-zen
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    ryu-zen New Member

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    OI, here is my suggestion.

    OI, you need to separate the two as different exercises in being a writer. First, read for relaxation, practice, enjoyment, and observation. Then, give your mind a rest and let it come to you. Find a time to go out of the house or in the room alone and write about 2 to 10 pages of something.

    Now, if you are real organized then follow your outline, and craft your writing to that; also, in your case, a schedule would be the wise thing to do. This would give you a clear vision of the big picture. This is the best advice i can give you thus far.
     
  8. Zane
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    Zane Contributing Member

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    I can´t be "a writer" without doing them both.

    You just need to find what pleases you more at the moment and try to balance the time you spend on writing, and the time you spend on reading.

    The good part, is that technically, you improve your skill in both ways.
    By reading, you´ll receive experience, from the other writers. But by writing, even if you aren´t really getting any good ideas, the time you spent on doing anything, will always improve you on something.
     
  9. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've read plenty for school and I don't feel it did anything to make me a better writer. I get much more benefit from other forms of fiction. I don't doubt that reading helps most people and probably could help me, but me being the rebel that I am, I've found minimal use for it. If I need inspiration from books, I walk into a book store, skim a book or two, and I get more from that than sitting down to read a novel. Yes, I'm weird like that.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It depends on how you read. You can read as a reader, or you can read as a writer. As a writer, you will read most books twice. The first time, you experience the story and gain not only the pleasure of the story, but an appreciation of how it is shaped.

    The second reading is different. You know where the story is going, so you can see in the second reading how the writer brings together the disparate story elements, because you know what the writer's goals are. When you find a particularly successful scene, you pick it apart to see why it works so well. When you find a weak scene, consider how you would rewrite it to make it work better.

    Reading as a writer is anything but passive.
     
  11. Tiki
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    Tiki Member

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    I have never even thought about that Cogito! I may go read a book, twice... Perhaps take some notes? Wow that doesn't sound fun... but def helpful!

    Even when I don't feel like reading a book, I feel better once I start it. To get started I tell myself it will get me closer to publishing my stories!
     
  12. Movie_Pat
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    Movie_Pat New Member

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    I thought I was the only person this happened to! I find it hard to find the time to write, so any time spent reading is time I could be writing.

    Reading is extremely important for a writer though, and I love reading, it's why I write in the first place. I just have to forcibly remind myself of this sometimes.
     

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