Just speaking from my own experience, I found that reading good writing was absolutely essential to my development as a writer. When I first started writing, I largely aimed to imitate the style and tone of writers that I admired. As time progressed, I began to develop my own "voice," but I don't think that my authorial voice could ever have come into its own without those earlier exercises in imitation.
I think reading is somewhat important to becoming a writer, but it isn't top priority. Reading essentially introduces you to new ideas in such a format that you can take time to digest and go over, and also influences one's style. It is essential for all writers, but how much reading is required depends on each writer, I would assume.
More important, I think, is what we find in living life itself. Once again, this is more for certain writers than others, but I think living one's own experiences is more important for 'good' writing and than reading of another's for any writer.
Reading too much can make one absent-minded and not unique. Life is the only thing where any artist can be original. Artists are essentially thieves always out for stealing. Originality exists only as a synthesis of ideas, and while the ideas may come from reading that ability to synthesize, to make original art, comes from life: the beauty of life.
I say for fiction writers and historical non-fiction writers, reading is very important. But for one who writes memoirs, then reading other memoirs really isn't that important aside from developing style.
Reading, helps you understand whats called the "Style" and "Usage" ...
To be a good writer, you have to "Understand" ... Feel, be Sincere, be Original, and Talk from your heart ... not through the Quill ... what only makes you a Reporting Journalist.
I consider Reading as an absolute necessity to be a good writer. You can learn many things from good writing especially on the topic of your choice, to develop your own unique style, and appropriate use of the language.
I believe reading is a very important thing for a writer or aspiring writer to do.
Personally, I learned to write by reading, reading, reading, and by reading again and again.
Also, even though I have been a writer for a number of years, I learn something new about the craft nearly every day -- from reading the works of others.
I do believe that reading is the mainstay of a good writer. I didn't really start writing until about 2 years ago and found that reading a lot stimulated me and gave me a fresh approach in my writing. It is all very well to have a vivid imagination but without reading I believe we do not get the fundemental training to portray exactly what it is we want to portray.
It is very important as you can write better and compare or co-relate in your writing experiences you have read somewhere and attracted you.Reading and writing goes parallel,One is not possible without other.
Pretty much as important as oxygen is to living . Pretty darn important one would think ! Than again humans have the tendencies to grow up with a huge nr of false beliefs . Beyond the humour , reading is i think the most important factor to improving your writing skills .
Very important. You would be surprised to see how much you can learn just about structure if you read more. That and you will pick up on techniques.
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