Reading to Write

I adore reading. I especially love YA and NA fiction. But I enjoy venturing into nonfiction and blogs a fair amount as well. I tend to enjoy the act of reading far more than I enjoy writing, so it’s easy to choose reading during my downtime. However, there are times that I read to help my writing.

• Blogs
Blogs are great because they are usually quick snippets of people’s thoughts and experiences. They can be relaxing, affirming, motivating, informative, comical, and inspiring. Blogs can show me that I’m not alone in my struggles with anxiety, body image, productivity, self-confidence, motivation, writing, art, or baking. They make me laugh, give me advice and tips, and motivate me. They can also provide good insight, ideas, and information for you and your projects.

• Articles and Research
Reading articles and research/studies is either very fascinating or very boring with only a few exceptions in between. Either way, they are incredibly helpful to writing.
The information gleaned from them can help you create accurate stories, details, and characters.

• Fiction
Whatever genre or style, the writing in story books, novels, epic poems, plays, and movie scripts causes you to engage your imagination in incredible ways. You create entire worlds in your mind based off the character and scene descriptions as well as the action and dialogue.

Reading fiction can also help spark your creativity and inspire you. And it can be done by anything. A character, some scenery, a phrase or name, a plot twist, the descriptions, or even character motivations.

• Poetry
The precision, the flow, the meter, the rhyme, the structure, and the freeform—poetry causes you to think differently, whether you’re writing it or reading it. The symbolism is often more subtle and striking. The meter brings a unique cadence. Emotions are readily evoked.

Those emotions can lead to greater inspiration and motivation for your writing as well as your life.

• Plays and Movie Scripts
I understand that reading plays and movie scripts isn’t as near as fun as watching them, but it can still be a blast. I’ve found them incredibly helpful as guides for showing versus telling, movements, and dialogue.

• Nonfiction
Autobiographies, biographies, self-help books, and other nonfiction can be so very helpful. They are great for motivation, research, tips and tricks, and inspiration.

Do you read to help your writing? What do you go for? Let me know in the comments!

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