Almost every article on how to become a good writer emphasizes the necessity to read, read, read. I am not a reader per se; I can't sit down with a novel and almost never read purely for enjoyment. I get all of my information from the radio or from listening. I am atuned to voices and love dialog, but I really don't read like other writers do. I'm sure I'm not alone. Where are my peeps? Are you a non-reader who forced yourself to read? Has it improved your writing?
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Thanks, M.T. You're right. It's not that I don't READ, per se. I just don't ALLOW myself to read for pleasure. The painting analogy is interesting and seems applicable to what several people in regard to analyzing the tools a writer uses. Cheers.
Eric Calerwood, Thanks for your comments and reference to Stephen King. I asked my former instructor Bill Meissner (Hitting Into the Wind,," etc.) and he said the same thing.
I also have read that Ernest read and studiously and daily wrote much more than what many people understand. He was much more of an artist than his macho image portrays.
Dahoglund, I like the phrase you used "the need to read"! I'm more of a "personal essay" writer. Interesting re: Hemingway. I interpreted for lit classes and tutored students on writing lit. analysis, but don't read by choice (tee hee).
Maximum - good point about "analyzing, applying" what you read. Actually, when I watch a sit-com, I do try to analyze why the dialog is funny - what is the pattern - that intrigues me. Thanks for the comment :)
Kylyssa, It's interesting that you mentioned your mother and reading. My mother used to RECITE poetry to me that she had memorized in grade school: "The Village Blacksmith", "Hiawatha", "In Flanders Field" and "If" by Kipling. Great Comment :)
I really enjoyed reading your response to the question, really good job answering it. I am their with you, I don't just enjoy reading, I need to read. Nice!
I subvocalize when I read so I can never read faster than I can speak; that's one of my problems. Maybe that's why I never got published. Great point in reading in the genre in which you write. Thanks 'Caroline in Chicago' :)
Diana, I like the few paragraphs at a time. In a way, that's what I do. I read until I find a stunning paragraph and then I'm done with the book. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." (That's all I needed :)
Jodah - how great to be involved in other people's hubs. I do LOVE the audio book. So you LISTEN to an audio book WHILE you're writing? I listen to NPR sometimes while I write, but most of the time I have to have complete silence to write.
Nanderson500, Interesting. This seems like a theory I could test out in the new year! Thanks for this idea. It seems quantifiable
Rod, Your comment reminds me of reflections of a lover - you can recite every past wonderful memory that led to the next! Thanks for your comment and much success in your "train writing" !
Reflections of a lover? well, maybe there is some truth in that.
It just struck me like: "First there was Amy's party where we met. We talked for hours that first night. We had a whirlwind romance those first six months and I asked her to marry me. It was Spring when ..."(I guess I'm in a nostolgic mood:)
Ah, how true: "I know people who are pretty bad at grammar but are excellent story-tellers"... and "some people are great at grammar but lousy writers." Thank you, Manatita. I love your open-minded approach :)
Whew, my New Year's Resolution would be to finish ONE book! Biographies of producers/directors/performers...so perhaps you perform as well :) ! Thanks for the reassurance that reading helps writing but is not necessarily a requirement.
No, I'm not a performer...just a movie/music nerd who likes to soak up as much trivia as possible. Haha
Just noticed your music tastes. My husband's son was in a band called "Power Nap on Satan's Floor" He is a sound engineer now and has a credit on Def Tones and a few others.I think he likes all the bands you write about. I'll send him to your pages
A great New Year's Resolution, Fat Freddy. I'm going to borrow that one and add it onto my New Year's Res list!
one2get2no, Thanks for your comment. Last year, I think I read 1 book, and I can't even tell you what it was.I do write essays, short stories, and some how-to pieces here. I've been a professional writing tutor, but I need to listen to this advice :)
Thanks Emmyboy. That's where I am. I DID find a discussion online where there were other writers who weren't avid readers. My mother recited so much poetry to me that I think I have to HEAR the rhythm of the words to enjoy them. Cheers, Billie
Have you ever tried audiobooks? They get great voice actors to read them.
Kylyssa, The audiobook is the only way I can get through a novel ! Thank goodness we took a trip last summer. My husband and I finished two on our way to MN and back. Thanks for the comment. I really should do more audiobooks.
Ana, That helps. Knowing that non-readers who forced themselves to read for the sake of their writing were well-served :) Thanks
:) True, true-time spent only to find a disappointing ending.That happened w a movie last wk.I was railing about the hours gone from my "brief moment of time" ("The Great Mandella) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpIh68Kh_-s&li...
I sometimes try to push my way through a lousy but popular novel to try to distill what made it so popular despite the writing.
Raceme, I really have to take all of this advice. I did download "The Giver" (young adult book) because I was fascinated with the movie we just rented. However, I stopped on the first page, not because it wasn't wonderful, but because of..? no idea
Tom, Thanks for commenting.
:) love the "reader just waiting to be let out" Thanks for your comment.
Duchessoflilac1, (Intriguing name :) Thanks for your comment. Your comment seems like a sensible, reasonable approach to writing. I need to be more reaonsonable in my approach to EVERYTHING :) Cheers, Billie
Ah Ha! Finally...someone like me! I was beginning to feel all alone in the world! Thank you for the comment Odhiambo Ouma :)
Molly, (PS Love the name Molly. I use it sometimes in my short stories). The enjoyment of reading is a true gift. I'm glad you have that gift :)
Thanks for your comment growithme! Having been in the field of deaf education, the correlation between speech and hearing is a solid correlation.
Oh good to know you are in deaf education service its a work for social cause too...
Growithme, To clarify, I USED to be a teacher of the deaf and sign language interpreter, but I haven't done any work in that field for years. Deaf ed. taught me, however, the complicated and AMAZING ability of humankind's facility with language.
K Murphey,Thank you! Your statement in the first paragraph and its converse seem logical to me. In addition, even before the printing press and availability of books, I do think oral storytellers were probably "writers", so to speak. (padon the pun).
Thanks Zebaish. More ideas for writing is ALWAYS good!
Marieryan, Thank you so much ! I like your style :) I too am puzzled about how prolific writers can be avid readers. Maybe they don't sleep! I know they must read MUCH faster than I ever was able to do. Maybe there's a hub on speed reading :)
Jessyca, Do you consider yourself an auditory person? By that I mean, do you get most of your information by radio? I have a theory about auditory learners. And by any chance, are you left-handed? (I have another theory about THAT and writing).
I consider myself to have a diverse learning style, and by that I mean I learn well in many ways. Reading words always sticks with me well, but so do pictures and audio. And sorry, but I am not left-handed! (although sometimes it's questionable!)
Pstraubie48, Very thoughtful, respectful,and sweet comment. Come to think of it, I HAVE read authors who I have adored - usually writers of short stories or essays. I LOVED "The Lesson" by Toni Cade Bambara. I'll see what else she wrote! :)
Toni, That's amazing. I'm not sure if I EVER read a 700 page book. I'm missing a gift you all have. As you say, hopefully listening to books is helpful since I do love writing. Happy New Year of reading !
Blargablarga, Thank you so much for your comment. I listen to audiobooks for the same reason you do. Very impressed with your reviews on hubpages! Maybe I'll just read your reviews (tee hee) So sorry you lost your job. Best Wishes, Billie
Kristen, Thanks for your comment. Writing and reading in the same genre seems to be the key, apparently. Cheers, Billie
shihara marcar Thank you for your comment especially that "reading can be present in different forms". I wonder if, for auditory learners, LISTENING to literature, the radio,and even watching movies and TV is a form of reading. I know it is for me.
Zelkiiro, Oh, my goodness. No wonder! I looked at your profile - reviews, reviews, reviews. I'll have to check out "Swalling Stones" and "Santiago". Thanks for your comment and references.
I love that image, thirstyheartsclub! "A reader lives a thousand lives". At 69, soon to be 70 next month, I better hurry up :) . My favorite book of ALL time was "To Kill a Mockingbird". That's all I've got! .
Thelma, Thanks for the comments from such a world traveler and a person of ecclectic interests as yourself. Looking forward to your hubs.
Carol Reed, EXACTLY my experience. I actually use reading to put myself to sleep! I download Kindle books on my smart phone and if I can't sleep, I start reading. One page later, I'm out! I ALSO feel that if I read, I'd never get anything written!
Very cool, Seraphic. You might like my short story "Alone". I wrote it way back in the 90s when it seemed "science-ficition-y" When I read it now, it seems not quite so imaginary :) Thanks for your comment.
Patrick, Thank you for your comment. I'm going to give reading more a whirl. I just found some old essays that I used to cut out of the paper when I was 12 through 20! I love the essay form and should read more. Cheers, Billie
Thanks for weighing in, ProShell
lordraven2000 - what a neat thing to do! You just gaused me to have a flashback of the library in the basement of our little Catholic School, Holy Rosary, in Milwaukee. I loved the smell of the books and used to read Father Finn books for boys (!)
Thanks Teamwiseman for your comments. You're right, being active here is very rewarding. Cheers, Billie
MPG, Thanks so much for your comment! A "great writer" in many people's minds means a great NOVEL writer. But Emerson, Gibran move me in their essays without setting, characters, or plo. So maybe reading in the genre you write is the most important.
I agree. Words are suppose to catch your attention. I love that poem as well its one of my favorites.
SilentMagenta, As I'm reading through all the comments here again, I can't see my response to your comment, and I was CERTAIN that I did respond. It was lost in the ethers, I guess. My apologies. So I'd like to thank you again, for your comments!
falak munaf, Thank you so much for your comment. Inspiration is a wondrous thing. We can't predict when it hits or where or why. The book "Flow" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi speaks of that. At least from the few pages I read of that book :) Cheers
Billie surely it is! Well I will read "Flow" and I will let you know if it is really about inspiration or not :)
Falak, I do agree with you. Writers need inspiration, and for many, reading is that way to get inspiration. Good answer!
gotta love Steinbeck
SheneishaDanielle, thanks for your comment. It seems as if I'm out on the non-readers limb on my own. Cheers, Billie
Youmeget, That's the way I feel (most of the time). I do remember, though, reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" and watching the movie. It was quite different. I loved the times in school when both were required and we had to write about the difference!
DDE, thank you for the comment. It sounds as if you really enjoy your special reading time during the day. It sounds lovely. Cheers, Billie
ah, Hankelisa, me too!
Rezasr, True. I'm beginning to think I didn't refine this question enough. I think I meant are you a writer of fiction who is an avid reader of fiction? Perhaps this question is about that! I didn't think so when I wrote it, but now I do. Thanks!
Nidal Chaudhry, I understand. You ARE reading if you're writing (tee hee) Perhaps your parents love creative writing and wish to share that love of reading with you. I don't read for pleasure much and I've written a children's book,short stories...
Please restate your question. I don't understand.
Frantz90, I never realized that if I "put a book down", I mostly likely won't pick it up again. I have never EVER been able to not put a book down. Thanks, Frantz, for that insight
Try reading a Terry Pratchett Discworld novel Billie Kelpin. You may have a problem putting one of his books down.
Rod, Thanks for the suggestion. Right now I'm in the middle of trying to promote our Martin Luther King, jr. page on our website b/c January and Feb. are when we get most visitors to our website. Oh, for the time...
Ethan Digby-New, Thank you for sharing and describing your great love for reading and how it affects your writing. Creativity breeds creativity it seems.
I read your profile. I HAVE to try "Always" and your book of poems when done. It was fascinating to read that you have "stories running around in your head like movies" and thought everyone had. That is TRULY a blessing. Thank you for your comment!
Billie, you've made my day, and I also looked at your profile and absolutely had to follow you. I write childrens books too, but you're so much more knowledgable about the subject. Glad to have you for a friend.
Greeneyedblondie, I read your hub titles-TOTALLY, interesting to me. 72 HUBS in 11 months while doing classwork? No wonder you don't read often, you're producing, producing! Can't wait to read your tips on character development and ALL your topics!
Ah, a true writing soulmate. YAY! I was beginning to think I was crazy. My attention goes off in 29 directions at once. I have to read the same sentence 3-4 times also! PLUS, I need to HEAR every word in my head so I can't read faster than talk :)