Billie Kelpin profile image 91

Are you a writer who reads or a writer who doesn't read?


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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John Connor (connorj) says

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2 years ago
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Kylyssa Shay (Kylyssa) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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 :)


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Diana L Pierce (Diana Lee) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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 :)

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Jee Ann G (Maximum A) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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 :)

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manatita44 says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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 :)

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Caroline Paulison Andrew (CarolineChicago) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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' :)

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M. T. Dremer says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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.

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John Hansen (Jodah) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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.

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Rebecka Vigus (Duchessoflilac1) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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

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Eric Calderwood says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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.

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Rod Marsden says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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" !


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Keith Abt (FatFreddysCat) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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.


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Emmyboy says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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


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Katherine Murphey (K Murphey) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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).

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nanderson500 says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    Nanderson500, Interesting. This seems like a theory I could test out in the new year! Thanks for this idea. It seems quantifiable

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Tom Ware (Tusitala Tom) says

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2 years ago
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Don A. Hoglund (dahoglund) says

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    Caroline Paulison Andrew (CarolineChicago) 2 years ago

    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.


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Philip Cooper (one2get2no) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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 :)

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Ana Koulouris says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    Ana, That helps. Knowing that non-readers who forced themselves to read for the sake of their writing were well-served :) Thanks

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Grace Marguerite Williams (gmwilliams) says

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2 years ago
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Sam Little (lorddraven2000) says

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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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 (!)

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daydreamer13 says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    :) love the "reader just waiting to be let out" Thanks for your comment.

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Zebaish Ansari (Zebaish) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    Thanks Zebaish. More ideas for writing is ALWAYS good!

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Raceme says

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2 years ago
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    Kylyssa Shay (Kylyssa) 2 years ago

    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.


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growithme says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    Thanks for your comment growithme! Having been in the field of deaf education, the correlation between speech and hearing is a solid correlation.


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Patrick Howes says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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

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Molly Layton says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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 :)

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Team Wiseman says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    Thanks Teamwiseman for your comments. You're right, being active here is very rewarding. Cheers, Billie

    .

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Zelkiiro says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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.

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Pro Shell says

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2 years ago
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Toni Pacino says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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 !

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Thelma Alberts says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    Thelma, Thanks for the comments from such a world traveler and a person of ecclectic interests as yourself. Looking forward to your hubs.

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Kristen Howe says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    Kristen, Thanks for your comment. Writing and reading in the same genre seems to be the key, apparently. Cheers, Billie

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Jessyca Stoepker says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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).


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Odhiambo Ouma Sr says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    Ah Ha! Finally...someone like me! I was beginning to feel all alone in the world! Thank you for the comment Odhiambo Ouma :)

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blargablarga says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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

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Marie Ryan (marieryan) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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 :)

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Patricia Scott (pstraubie48) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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! :)

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KatyWhoWaited says

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2 years ago
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Salma (thirstyheartsclub) says

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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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! .

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Sheneisha Taylor (SheneishaDanielle) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    SheneishaDanielle, thanks for your comment. It seems as if I'm out on the non-readers limb on my own. Cheers, Billie

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Meggan Dunn says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    Megan, I LOVE hearing about the moment you knew you wanted to write. I think I'm going to pose that as a question if it's ok with you. I'd also like to use your quote on our educational website. May I? Our teacher-visitors will love it!


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Carol Clarke Reed (Carol Reed) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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!

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Seraph (seraphic) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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.

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SilentMagenta says

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2 years ago
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    SilentMagenta 2 years ago

    I agree. Words are suppose to catch your attention. I love that poem as well its one of my favorites.


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Arafania says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    Please restate your question. I don't understand.

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falak munaf says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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


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Iftikhar ul Sami (iskhoso) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    Iskhoso, Your view that reading, alone, "doesn't serve the purpose" makes a great deal of sense. We need to incorporate all aspects of language to produce believable language output. Dialog, I think, is mastered by those who listen closely :)


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rezasr says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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!

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Devika Primić (DDE) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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

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Marie Giunta (MPG Narratives) says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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.

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TopNochCydiaNews (Nidal Chaudhry) says

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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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...

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youmeget says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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!

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Shihara Marcar says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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.

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frantz90 says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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


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lisa (hankelisa) says

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2 years ago
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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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!

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DonnaDM says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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!


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Ethan Digby-New says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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.

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William Hargadon says

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2 years ago
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    Billie Kelpin 2 years ago

    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 :)