If You Can’t Write- Read!

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Last year, I was very disappointed with myself with how I was not able to progress that much with NANOWRIMO. I also was not writing that much.

Looking back on what I have been doing – it was not so much as a lack of time, it was more of a lack of discipline. I was spending way too much time doing other things other than writing.

Well, to be fair to myself, I pursued film making more last year, rather than writing. I learned video editing and videography. We even invested in a professional-quality (though not state-of-the-art) camera that can take good videos. Film making on a smartphone can be a good form of practice, but there are a lot of limitations that a gear upgrade could solve. In any case, I did mention in this blog a couple of times that I ended up being the cameraman/producer for my wife’s youtube channel.

Is it really that hard to write?

Of course not! You can easily write things. Will it be a good piece? Well, that’s another story. Haha.

There is more to hammering keys down to writing, apparently. If you’re writing an article, there’s research, plus to you need to organize your information to a form that would be understandable and meaningful. For fiction, that is a whole other can of worms. There’s plot, characters, and other elements that escape my mind at the moment. Weaving them into a good story needs skill.

During 2020, as I said, I barely wrote anything. However, I also barely read anything. Which means that despite all the free time and things due to the lockdown and stay-at-home policies, the whole situation was not conducive to my writing. I was more inclined to do stuff that were “fun.” Watching TV was fun, videos and movies were fun. Reading, not so much fun.

Why do we need to read? Well, reading is a form of fuel for writing. In an article from Treehugger.com – How Does What You Read Affect Your Writing?, they wrote that what we read will affect our writing, just as how the nutrients we eat will affect our body. They also wrote that how we read affects us. Regardless of what and how one reads, the article concludes that successful writers are voracious readers.

In a research by Merjen, Putro, Kassymova and Kosbay entitled “Impact of Reading On Students’ Writing Ability,” they concluded that the reading habits of college students affects their academic writing.

In another study by Armani, Audrey, “Reading as Prewriting: The Effect of the use of Literature on Writing” (1994), it was concluded that reading literature resulted in significantly higher score for writing as against the non-literature readers. Therefore, one can say that reading a lot of stories will help one write their own stories. If you feel yourself lacking in what to write, reading a good novel or story will help you more, as opposed to reading news or feature articles. If you want to write stories, read other stories so you can learn how to write them yourself.

Basically, applying those studies on myself, I guess I barely read anything, so I could barely write anything myself. I was not able to construct a good story or novel because my tank was empty.

If you ever find yourself struggling in writing, stop, take a break, and read something, preferably a good story or novel that you have been meaning to read. It might help you out a lot.

Thanks for reading!

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Author: jomz

Web Designer and Developer, Graphic Artist. Writer.