Contributed by Jane Sandwood
Becoming a better author isn’t always directly related to improving your writing skills. While there are many beneficial workshops, courses, and activities that are designed to hone an individual’s writing abilities, there is an overlooked method to sharpen your writing skills: reading. Whether you choose to read fiction or nonfiction, romance or autobiography, reading quality books of all kinds has its advantages. Explore some of the main benefits authors can expect from regular reading.
One of the most valuable benefits of reading for authors is the way it can expand one’s vocabulary. Even if you already have a superior vocabulary, there are times, when you come across a word that you’ve completely forgotten about, and you find yourself in love with its peculiarity. Furthermore, to make the most out of your reading experience, select books that may contain words and phrases that you aren’t used to hearing on a daily basis. As you encounter forgotten, or perhaps completely new vocabulary, look up each word and make it a point to remember the definitions. While you don’t have to do this with every book you read, adding new words and phrases to your personal vocabulary can only strengthen your writing.
Exposure to proper grammar and spelling
Some writers are naturally skilled at writing mechanics, while others leave the editing to an editor. If you identify more with the latter group, it is only beneficial to be exposed to proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. You can achieve this through regular reading of quality books. Since almost every book is heavily edited, reading can help you become skilled in editing your own work. It can also help you lean less on a professional editor, which can save you time, effort, and money. Even though it is tempting to focus on your story alone, having clean, professional writing is always something to strive for.
Boosts your creativity
Do you enjoy getting lost in reading plot-twists, action, romance, comedy, or drama? Fiction books are wonderful fountains of creativity for readers. This is especially true for authors, who must always keep their creativity flowing. Reading can help authors avoid writer’s block, reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, create ideas for new work, and provide answers to existing writing dilemmas. Creativity can quickly come to a halt if you only ever stay within your own thoughts. When you experience the ideas and work of another author, you are able to step outside of your mind.
Leverage the benefits of reading to become a better author
In addition to focusing on improving your actual writing abilities, it is crucial not to forget about the benefits that reading can offer your career. To be a successful author, you must always strive towards continuous learning and developing your craft. While workshops and classes can achieve part of this objective, reading is one of the most significant parts in growing as an author.
Jane is a freelance writer and editor. She has written for both digital and print across a wide variety of fields. Her main interest is exploring how people can improve their health and well being in their everyday life. And when she isn't writing, Jane can often be found with her nose in a good book, at the gym or just spending quality time with her family.Share on Twitter Share on Facebook