Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Does Reading Make You a Better Writer?

I recently devoured three books in the past couple of weeks. To voracious readers this may sound like “so what.” But for me, as a writer, finding the time to read is like taking a mini-vacation. And I need to make the most of my time. As a result I have more books in my house than I will ever read (I’m always compelled to buy at least one book everytime I pass a bookstore!–It’s an illness). So when I do get that rare break in my hectic schedule I have to find a book that hooks me from the beginning, that is intriguing, enlightening, and exceptionally written. Needless to say I have tossed many books aside that don’t live up to that criteria.

In any event, I’ve recently read ORANGE MINT AND HONEY by Carleen Brice. A damned good book on all levels and a must read. Then I read SCARPETTA by Patricia Cornwell one of my favorite authors. I followed that up with the master of the short chapters James Patterson’s CROSS COUNTRY. And I just picked up Eric Jerome Dickey's DYING FOR REVENGE, the latest in his Gideon series.

I say all of this to bring me to the point of this post. When we as writers read good work it can only enhance, stimulate and encourage us in our own solitary endeavors. After reading a good book I feel charged and want to up my writing level. Do I? Hmmmm, only a reader will know for sure, but I certainly hope so.

Although my motto is “A writer writes” my other one is, “Any writer worth a damn reads.”


Sylvia Hubbard said...


Reading helps you not only study your craft and hone it better, but it gives you a way to understand your own writers voice.

I find it stupidly (and I know that's harsh to say) when writers admit they don't read.

Yasmin said...

Hey Donna...it does a heart good to hear an author say that they READ...yeah it's fundamental...but not enough authors do it.
I loved Orange Mint and Honey...it was one of my top three books during 2008. Also read and enjoyed Cross Country.